Goldman Sachs takes advantage of “free coffee” as bankers return to the five-day week

It’s time for the Goldman Sachs bankers to wake up and smell the coffee, and pay for it too.

When employees showed up on Tuesday at the Wall Street giant’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan for a mandatory return to a five-day workweek, they received an unwanted surprise: the “free coffee” station had been moved away, according to reports. reported by The Post.

The free “grab and go” station at the entrance to 200 West St. – cold beer, plus supplies of French vanilla cream, almond milk, soy milk and half-and-half – had appeared during the pandemic to encourage participation , according to insiders.

But Brass has since established that it doesn’t need sweeteners to get people back to the office, sources told The Post. Instead, management now believes the threat of being fired should be more than enough incentive, the sources said.

“RIP for another pandemic advantage for junior bankers,” complained a junior Goldman banker. “I’m sure the partners still don’t have to pay for their coffee or anything else in their elegant dining room.”

“Of course they took the coffee away,” added another junior banker. “But I’ve been so blown away since Labor Day that I haven’t really had time to think about it too much.”

Natural gas prices are displayed in front of Morgan Stanley in the Times Square neighborhood of New York.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

As for coffee, a source close to banknotes still has free coffee in other parts of the building, including the 11th floor building’s “Sky Lobby”. The source added that the bank also provided cupcakes to employees on their first day of return. However, younger employees retort that it’s a hassle to achieve and doesn’t have the same quality as cold brew.

In other Wall Street banks, executives and CEOs are embracing the return to normal and the disappearance of perks that many have long taken for granted.

At Goldman, as well as rivals JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, bankers of all levels complain about the loss of free tickets to the US Open tennis championship in Forest Hills, Queens. Before the pandemic, large banks typically provided extra tickets for top performers. But this year, the only way to get a spot is to bring a customer, the sources add.

Spokespeople for JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the benefits of the US Open.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, for his part, has become increasingly aggressive with a crackdown on remote work, privately telling senior managers that he expects the base to be in the office five days a week, a more stringent standard than the The bank’s official line three days a week, according to sources close to the company.

But it is Goldman CEO David Solomon – who famously called working from home an “aberration” – who has signaled the return to office with particular force. As first reported by The Post, Goldman told workers in a memo last month that it planned to lift all COVID protocols a week after Labor Day, a sign that it will not accept excuses for employees to work from home.

In April, Solomon stopped free daily car trips to and from the office, which the bank had begun offering at the start of the COVID outbreak, The Post was the first to report. It now limits the benefit to employees who work late into the evening, the sources said.

Via Ovest 200
Goldman Sachs workers showed up at 200 West Street last week.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

This spring, Goldman also announced that employees will once again be ready for the cost of breakfast and lunch. Goldman increased its $ 30 dinner meal allowance from $ 25, two months after The Post reported staff complained they couldn’t even buy a Chipotle dinner on the stingy salary.

For some employees, however, part of Goldman’s appeal is the prestige of working long hours as well as spending time face-to-face with the boss.

“There’s a pride that comes with working crazy hours and Goldman thinks the best will want what Solomon asks,” John Breault, CEO of recruiting firm Breault & Smith, told the Post.

Other banks have taken a more relaxed approach to returning to the office. Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup, which famously banned Zoom meetings on Fridays in response to employee fatigue, refrained from requiring a five-day workweek, although the bank has asked most employees to return at least a few days. per week in March.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, meanwhile, said he will provide more guidance on returning to office in the next six to eight weeks and outline “more formalities for flexibility.”

Not all ranks are convinced.

“Citibank and Bank of America are the lame banks,” a 20-year-old Wall Street banker who works in a boutique told The Post, adding that he would never take a job there.

However, some of the young bankers who have won awards from Goldman and JPMorgan say they would like to have more flexibility.

“I’d rather not be in the office five days a week,” admitted a young banker.

“I don’t think anyone wants to be in the office five days a week,” a former Goldman employee, who left to find a more flexible role, told the Post.

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