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JPMorgan Chase attempted one of the earliest return-to-office dates of the Fortune 100 on September 21, 2020. After a breakout of COVID occurred, the company backed off the mandate. From the beginning of the COVID lockdowns until early 2022, CEO Jamie Dimon took a hard stance against remote work and for office work. Dimon stated, “We want people back to work. And everyone is going to be happy with it, and yes, the commute, you know people don’t like commuting, but so what.”
On April 4, 2022 (after the bank’s official return to office in February), the CEO conceded that about 10% of employees are permitted to work remotely full time, about half must return to the office full time, and the remaining 40% can split their time. This news was a big departure from the company’s early stance on remote work. As a result, JPMorgan Chase reduced its New York City office space by 300,000 in 2020 and 400,000 in 2021.
Yet on August 25, 2022, Dimon changed his tune yet again. Dimon has been “quietly telling senior managers he expects the mega-bank’s rank and file to be in their seats at the office five days a week.”
Here is everything you need to know about JPMorgan Chase’s return to office plan: the current policy, the timeline of delays, and sentiment from JPMorgan leadership about how work will be done in the future at the company.
JPMorgan’s Return To Office: Current Policy
- Return To Office Date: February 1, 2022
- Location Policy: Hybrid
- Office Visit Expectations: Three days per week
- Office Space Footprint: Decreasing
JPMorgan’s RTO Timeline
September 21, 2020: Attempted, then aborted
“The bank executives had previously told managing directors and some executive directors within its sales and trading operation that they must return to the office by Sept. 21.”
May 17, 2021: Delayed
“The biggest U.S. bank by assets told workers on Tuesday it is ramping up the numbers of employees allowed in offices and that buildings will be open to all employees on May 17, subject to a 50% building occupancy limit.”
July 1, 2021: Delayed indefinitely
“We would fully expect that by early July, all U.S.-based employees will be in the office on a consistent rotational schedule, also subject to our current 50% occupancy cap,” the bank said in a memo, reported earlier.”
February 1, 2022: JPMorgan’s real return-to-office date
“We expect everyone to return to their in-office schedule no later than February 1,” the memo said.
Sentiment From JPMorgan Chase Leadership
Stance on hybrid work
- JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said about 10% of employees are permitted to work remotely full time, about half must return to the office full time, and the remaining 40% can split their time. For that last group, Dimon said he and the company’s executives maintain a “general expectation” of three days of in-person work per week” (source).
Stance on remote work
- “Dimon, who said he has been going to the office for three months, noted that productivity had dropped in certain jobs. He also said working from home has negative effects in society that most people don’t appreciate, including drug overdoses” (source).
- CEO Jamie Dimon said, “We want people back to work. And everyone is going to be happy with it, and yes, the commute, you know people don’t like commuting, but so what” (source).
- “It’s clear that working from home will become more permanent in American business,” Dimon acknowledged in his annual shareholder letter Monday (source).
Stance on office space
- “JPMorgan Chase, New York City’s largest office tenant, cut its commercial footprint by 400,000 square feet last year, Crain’s reported. The bank, which has said it plans to “significantly reduce” its global office footprint in the coming years, also downsized by 300,000 square feet in 2020” (source).
- On August 25, 2022, The NY Post reported yet another change in sentiment: “JPMorgan’s hard-charging chief executive has been quietly telling senior managers he expects the mega-bank’s rank and file to be in their seats at the office five days a week.”
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