JPMorgan is calling employees back to the office

Bank wants sales and trading staff to return by Sept. 21

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and 383 Madison Avenue (Getty; Google Maps)
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and 383 Madison Avenue (Getty; Google Maps)

JPMorgan is heading back to the office.

The bank, one of New York City’s largest employers, told senior employees in the sales and trading division that they and their teams are to return to the office by Sept. 21, the Wall Street Journal reported.

By directing employees to return after months of working from home, JPMorgan’s message is clear: It’s safe to head back to the office. Executives said employees with childcare issues and medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus can continue working from home. Sept. 21 is also the day New York City public schools return to in-person classes.

The grand work-from-home experiment has presented a paradox for JPMorgan and other large financial firms. Executives believe that the in-person interaction and camaraderie that exist on banks’ large trading floors is an important part of their success.

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Yet banks have posted record-high trading revenues during the first half of 2020. JPMorgan’s trading revenue was up 79 percent in the second quarter from last year at $9.7 billion.

Not all banks are as eager to return as JPMorgan is, though.

Deutsche Bank’s sales and trading employees are making plans to work from home two or three days a week even once the pandemic is over, according to the Journal. UBS Group executives told employees that remote working is here to stay.

“We expect you to return at your own pace and when you feel comfortable,” executives wrote in a note to employees Tuesday.

Some of Manhattan’s largest landlords have been pressuring tenants to return to their offices. [WSJ] — Rich Bockmann