Bank Of America Corp, Wall Street, Banks, Jpmorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc

Bank Of America Corp, Wall Street

'Very focused on getting our people back to the office': Bank of America global strategy leader Catherine Bessant

'Very focused on getting our people back to the office': Bank of America strategy leader

10/13/2021 11:59:00 PM

'Very focused on getting our people back to the office': Bank of America strategy leader

Wall Street leaders aren't ready to bank on a work world that goes more remote than in-office, and Bank of America is no exception.

, "I'm about to cancel all my Zoom meetings. I'm done with it."He added for people who are worried about commuting again, "yes, the commute, you know people don't like commuting, but so what."VIDEO1:4701:47CEOs are at their wits' end to figure out how to get their employees back to work

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Squawk on the StreetBank of America CEO Brian Moynihan had said in June, during the week when Goldman Sachs first required workers to return to offices, that there was a desire to return among remote employees. Bank of American has more than 200,000 workers.

"People want to get back to work,"Moynihan told CNBCin June. "It was interesting, I was at this wedding over the weekend and a bunch of young kids working in our industry for a competitor, and they're all ... tired of working out of their rooms."

As the summer progressed and delta variant cases rose, the major banks adjusted plans, and have focused on vaccinated employees and additional protocols in offices. But even as the delta variant slowed down what was an aggressive timeline — at least relative to many other companies — for a return to Wall Street for many workers, bank executives have remained worried about the toll of nearly two years of work from home.

"Our people after 18 months are fatigued and they performed brilliantly, but I think I as a leader question the sustainability of innovation, the sustainability of engagement and culture building in a perpetual remote office or remote environment and that's why we're very focused on getting our people back to the office," Bessant said.

Work will change, and technology will have to change with it, sometimes painfully, with the number of people who attach to the bank's network on a remote basis taxing "every element of our infrastructure," she said. "No matter if we're in office, if we're out of the office, if others in the ecosystem have a different way of working that we not only have all the tools we need but that our people know how to use them and that is a much bigger challenge than most people would think."

There are many aspects of the world of work that have "forever changed," Bessant said, especially for leadership and management, and empathy going from a soft skill to a core skill, "the ability to see things through other's eyes, even when you can't see them right in front of you at a desk or at a table."

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...and then having to replace a bunch of open positions Good luck. Offices are finished. Isn't there a gas shortage

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