- BlackRock will require its employees to work from the office four days a week starting Sept. 11, according to a memo seen Tuesday by the Financial Times and Bloomberg.
- “We have felt the energy generated by being together, in our larger offices, our newer spaces,” the company’s chief operating officer, Rob Goldstein, and human resources chief, Caroline Heller, wrote in the memo. “This energy, and the horizontal collaboration it powers, are what make BlackRock so special.”
- BlackRock began moving employees into a new headquarters in the Hudson Yards area of Manhattan during the first quarter of this year. The lease on the space was signed seven years ago, when HQ had yet to be built, according to the Financial Times.
Tuesday’s memo increases — from three — the number of days a week BlackRock expects its employees in the office. The asset manager rolled out a three-day in-office requirement for more than half of its workers in late 2021.
“When fast-moving, high-client-interest events are happening, having our teams physically together to find solutions, seize opportunities and learn from each other makes a difference,” Goldstein and Heller wrote Tuesday.
Employees will still be permitted to work remotely for two weeks a year during a “relevant” time period, such as summer, according to the memo.
“Career development happens in teaching moments between team members, and it is accelerated during market-moving moments, when we step up and get into the mix,” Goldstein and Heller wrote. “All of this requires us to be together in the office.”
That’s a well-tread narrative for advocates of in-office work. When Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, at a February 2021 conference, called the COVID-prompted remote work year of 2020 an “aberration,” he leaned on the notion that he didn’t want to see another class of interns start their banking careers remotely.
BlackRock is hardly alone this spring in pushing for more in-office days. JPMorgan Chase last month told its managing directors it expects them in the office five days a week.
“Our leaders play a critical role in reinforcing our culture and running our businesses,” the bank’s operating committee wrote. “They have to be visible on the floor, they must meet with clients, they need to teach and advise, and they should always be accessible for immediate feedback and impromptu meetings. We need them to lead by example.”
JPMorgan staffers reportedly flocked to the bank’s internal messaging forum to condemn the change.
BlackRock’s push against remote work comes as office occupancy in New York City stands at less than 50%, the Financial Times reported, citing statistics from Kastle Systems.
“I think you can assume that Friday is dead forever,” Vornado Realty Trust CEO Steven Roth told investors in February, according to the Financial Times, adding that Monday was “touch and go.”