JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is no fan of remote work. He’s previously claimed it suppresses “spontaneous idea generation.” Now he’s talking again about his distaste for working from home—and taking aim at remote managers in particular.
“I don’t know how you can be a leader and not be completely accessible to your people. I do not believe you can be a leader and not be accessible to your people,” Dimon told The Economist editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes during a wide-ranging interview on Tuesday, in which he also discussed the economy, U.S.-China relations, and his own legacy at the financial services firm.
Dimon did note that certain roles are suited for remote work, and that JPMorgan has always had a small percentage of employees work from home. But calling himself a work-from-home “skeptic,” he emphasized that he doesn’t believe remote work is good for creativity, younger employees doing apprenticeships, or for management teams.
“To the extent it works, I’m okay with it. If it doesn’t work, I don’t mind getting rid of it either,” he said. “We’re not going to make that decision because we’re pandering to employees. That is not the way to build a great company.”
JPMorgan started calling its traders back to the office as early as September 2020—though soon after some workers were sent home after an employee tested positive for COVID. Attempts to return to in-person work over the past few years have been met with employee pushback. In April 2023, the bank ordered its senior leaders back to the office five days a week, with the threat of “corrective action” if they refused.
The chiefs of other banks have also had some harsh words about remote work. Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman previously said that remote work is “not an employee choice.” And Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon called it an “aberration.” Dimon himself said he was “about to cancel all my Zoom meetings,” in 2021, adding “I’m done with it.”
All of JPMorgan’s managing directors are now fully in-office, and 60% of employees work in-person full-time, Dimon told Minton Beddoes. Around 10% of employees—primarily those in certain sales or service roles—work entirely from home, and the remaining 30% commute to the office three days per week, he added.
In his interview with Minton Beddoes, Dimon acknowledged that his preference for in-person work isn’t for everyone—but said those who disagree can look for work elsewhere.
“I completely understand why someone doesn’t want to commute an hour and a half every day. Totally get it,” he said. “Doesn’t mean they have to have a job here either.”
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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