There is a growing divide on Wall Street: firms calling employees back and firms telling people they can work from home.
Titans like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are taking a hard-line approach, beefing up in-person staff five days a week in New York even though it might mean losing talent. Rivals including Citigroup Inc. are touting flexibility, betting that a softer approach will help them poach top traders and deal makers.
While businesses across America are struggling with whether and how to have staff return full time, the issue has been particularly thorny at large U.S. banks, where leaders like Jamie Dimon and David Solomon have voiced strong opinions.
Culture is at the heart of the debate. Some say the trading floor is the last bastion of Wall Street, where interns and young employees learn by osmosis. Others think record results in a remote-work year prove that the trading floor and the office alike have lost their relevance.
JPMorgan’s investment-banking staff has been told to be back in the office by Tuesday, including communications, technology and operations teams. Sales, trading and research staff members were told to return full time in June. Many sales and trading staffers have already been in the office throughout much of the past year.