Thomas Gottstein, CEO of Credit Suisse Group, is one of few bank executives that believes his company will never return to the office full-time.
“It’s unrealistic and it is not what employees want,” said Gottstein in an interview at the World Economic forum. “We are in a soft way trying to encourage people to come back, but it’s counterproductive if you push too hard.”
Gottstein added that, while 60% of employees should be in the office based on the firm’s current policies, only around 37% have returned.
“I think in certain cities like London — where commuting is painful — that is why people prefer to stay from home one or two days, they don’t have to commute,” said Gottstein.
More and more companies across Europe are echoing the same sentiment, with flexibility taking over as the dominant post-pandemic workplace trait.
For instance, Spanish financial firm Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA recently updated its remote working policies.
On the other hand, banks in the US are still hesitant to come to the same conclusion.
Companies like JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs made headlines due to their stark opposition to remote working, but have recently softened their stance as they realize the necessity this work benefit will play in the future of retention.