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JPMorgan Employees Overwhelmed With The Return-To-The-Office Policy Mandate

JPMorgan Chase & Co employees complain that they live far from the office as they have to deal with the commute.

One of the biggest banks in the country is having employees return to the office after 3 years of the COVID-19 shutdown with the state of emergency no longer intact.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon is getting backlash from his employees about his return-to-office policy, according to Reuters.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, testifies during the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing titled Annual Oversight of the Nations Largest Banks, in Hart Building on Thursday, September 22, 2022. Chase corporate employees overwhelmed over the return to the office policy. TOM WILLIAMS/BENZINGA

Earlier this month, the company abandoned its hybrid-attendance policy and asked all managing directors to come to the office five days a week.

“Our leaders play a critical role in reinforcing our culture and running our businesses. They have to be visible on the floor, meet with clients, teach and advise, and always be accessible for immediate feedback and impromptu meetings,” the company’s operating committee wrote in a memo. 

JPMorgan’s employees, however, said the firm’s new mandate for senior officers is both”tone-deaf” and “divisive,” Reuters reported.

The outlet noted that some of the company’s workers took to JPMorgan’s internal messaging platform to voice their concerns.

Several employees reportedly complained about a “Zoom culture” in which they had to attend virtual meetings despite being in the office. They also shared challenges that have come with long commutes and caretaking responsibilities.

“Most people on my team (and even other teams around me) live pretty far from the office,” one of the employees reportedly wrote in response to the memo. “Being stuck in traffic more often and paying even more for gas (rising prices) is not good for myself and many others.”

A day after the memo was posted, its comments section was locked. 

In mid-2021, JPMorgan called employees back to the office on a rotational basis after months of pandemic-related shutdowns. Following the company’s most recent memo to staff, Dimon argued that there was a need for leaders to be available for spontaneous in-office discussions.

“Some people weren’t following the rules,” Dimon said in response to a Reuters question on an earnings media call earlier this month. “We don’t want to punish everybody because of that, but people agreed to do three days a week; we expect three days a week.”

According to Davia Temin, chief executive of crisis management firm Temin and Co, employers may roll back pandemic flexibility and demand more in-office work as a recession looms and workers vie to keep their jobs.

“Working from home was introduced during extraordinary times, and leaders have the right to change that, especially now as we are likely to be getting into a recession where profitability will be key,” Temin told Reuters.

Other companies have requested workers back to the office as others have maintained the work from home policy.

JPMorgan’s employees return to the office came at a time when the company had bought out First Republic Bank as it failed with unsecured deposits.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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