Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said that working from home was “not a new normal” for the investment banking giant, calling it an “aberration.”
Speaking at Credit Suisse’s annual virtual financial services forum on Wednesday, Solomon said that the coronavirus pandemic had seen a “significant portion” of Goldman Sachs employees shifting to working remotely.
However, he said that the firm had still managed to have an average of less than 10% of its staff working in its offices around the world.
In New York, Solomon said Goldman had up to a quarter of its employees working onsite and had managed to get the same number back into its London offices last summer and in the fall, when U.K. public health restrictions had briefly eased.
Goldman had brought over half of its staff back into its offices in Asia, Solomon said, but added that this fell again in the fall and winter months with a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
“I do think for a business like ours which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us and it’s not a new normal,” Solomon said.
“It’s an aberration that we’re going to correct as quickly as possible,” he added.
Solomon said he was particularly focused on ensuring that the next cohort of young workers to join Goldman Sachs this coming summer didn’t start working at the firm remotely, as he believed they could miss out on “direct contact” and “direct mentorship.”
He said he was a “big believer in personal connectivity” and so didn’t think for a business like Goldman, that its operating style would be vastly different post-pandemic.
Solomon’s comments stand in sharp contrast to that of many big names in the technology space that have made the shift to working remotely a more permanent part of their operations. The latest example is music streaming service Spotify, which announced earlier this month it would be letting employees work from anywhere after the pandemic.