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Why do they insist on returning to the office? They have skyscrapers to fill


Efinancialcareers has published an interesting letter under the pseudonym of a former employee of an investment bank who moved to another job after the pandemic for one reason only: they let him work from home: “The CEOs of banks demanding the return of staff in the office are Neanderthals. Stuck in the stone age, they earn tens of millions as they tell the rest of us, who live in small apartments with huge rents, how to live ”. In short: “The truth is that banks could save billions of dollars in costs by managing remote offices similar to those they have operated in the last 18 months. We live in the era of cloud computing: offices are no longer mandatory. But the American banks have not understood it ”. People in the middle and back office in attendance tend to live farther from downtown and offices to save on homes and make more income. If they could work from home, in addition to earning 2 to 4 hours on commute time, they could “save on childcare, clothing and dry cleaning costs. This is all important when you are raising a family and when you work for a bank but you are not a banker with a high salary and bonuses ”. So why is there a return to the fold? “There’s a reason bosses want everyone to go back to the office, and it’s not creativity, productivity and all the other nonsense that they make us believe. It’s to justify the billions of sunk costs that come with investing in luxury offices around the world. ”How much does an office seat cost? Last year, Deloitte Consulting set this number between 12 thousand and 20 thousand euros per worker per year, certainly putting in place all the required Covid measures. Even before the pandemic, however, Deloitte quatified the cost of workers in a figure between 8 and 14,000 euros. For banks with the largest offices in London and New York this means a cost in the tens of millions at a time when, even before the virus, most banks had begun to heavily cut costs. In short, those who have invested, as often happens with banks and insurance companies, in mammoth skyscrapers of representation and symbolism in the city center are now forced to fill their desks. Those who, like many FinTechs, have started or are already starting with a hybrid form of work, have the advantage not only of facilitating and supporting remote work, in all possible hybrid forms and formulas. But also to make a better selection of staff because they are not concentrated exclusively around the geographical area in which the offices are located.An organized system of flexible work combined with frequent reward trips could be the key to helping startups to compete in the race. to grab the best talents. Also because many of them in recent months have hired staff even in cities very far from their headquarters, trusting in remote work, and now they would find it difficult to organize mass transfers. Travel funds can be recovered by divesting from physical offices. Inc, for example, a company that studies and implements artificial intelligence solutions for business organization, is a striking case of this new formula of agile work with benefits. Taking advantage of the months of the pandemic, he reduced the offices of the San Francisco headquarters, closed the satellite offices and redesigned the London office to make it entirely remotely. In this way, he was able to use 85% of the 2019 real estate budget reinvesting it in employee benefits, including a trip for all the staff of 200 people, and others organized in a reduced form for individual teams. “Bringing everyone back to work in the office would be a mistake,” explained CEO Oleg Rogynskyy. The startup incubator All Turtles Corp. has also decided to close its offices in Paris, Tokyo and San Francisco to move everything online. In return, his entire staff plus the employees of some of the startups he helped launch were invited to Memphis in October to meet up with barbecues, bourbon, and a trip to Graceland.



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