LifestyleIs remote work incompatible with management? "I doubt you can manage people and work from home"

Is remote work incompatible with management? "I doubt you can manage people and work from home"

On the right: Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase
On the right: Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase
Images source: © Getty Images | alvarez, Bloomberg
ed. MAB

5:51 AM EDT, October 29, 2023

JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, and billionaire Stephen Schwarzman have voiced their respective stances in the remote work debate. Neither of them is a supporter of the concept. Dimon finds it hard to envision managing teams that work exclusively remotely. According to Schwarzman, during the pandemic, people didn't work as hard as they claimed to.

As of now, the majority of JPMorgan Chase employees (60 percent) work in the office five days a week, while 30 percent are required to be on-site for three days a week. "We are closely observing this situation," acknowledged Jamie Dimon, during a recent conference in Saudi Arabia, informally known as "Davos in the desert". CNN provided details on the issue.

The situation is different for senior managers. All managing directors at JPMorgan are expected to work in the office full-time.

"I doubt you can manage people effectively while working from home," said Dimon during the aforementioned conference.

"It was beneficial to stay at home"

Stephen Schwarzman, billionaire chairman of Blackstone - a private equity fund in the commercial property market, made a judgement at the same conference. According to him, people who worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic didn't work as hard, regardless of their claims.

Schwarzman addressed remote work within the context of its impact on the commercial real estate market, where Blackstone has a substantial role as an investor - as reported by CNN.

"During the pandemic, people became comfortable staying at home. It was more economical for them: firstly, they didn't work as hard, regardless of their claims. Secondly: they saved money on commuting. They could cook lunch at home rather than buy meals, and they avoided spending on expensive attire, thereby boosting their net income," Schwarzman explained.

The businessman estimates that 20 percent of office buildings in the USA remain vacant, while another 20 percent are leased but unoccupied. Schwarzman projects that upon the termination of existing contracts, companies will downsize their rented office space. This is expected to render several office buildings - particularly the older ones - "unviable".

"This will end very badly," he predicted, as quoted by CNN.

They see more cons than pro's to remote work

Since the onset of the pandemic, a global conversation has unfolded concerning the pros and cons of remote work. The managerial staff of businesses worldwide largely favor a return to conventional work arrangements in the coming years. The transition back to office settings is expected to be completed by 2026 - according to a recent report by American magazine "Fortune", which refers to new studies.

Not only Jamie Dimon - but also several other American CEOs, like Amazon's Andy Jassy and Pershing Square founder Bill Ackman, have expressed their discontent with their subordinates' reluctance to spend additional time in offices.

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