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Marcus Ashworth

Let’s Face It, Most Bankers Are Going Back to the Office

Despite the press releases, very few companies have actually committed to new, more flexible ways of working. Credit Suisse is a case in point.

We’re confused.

We’re confused.

Source: Bloomberg

Credit Suisse Group AG has portentously unveiled a new vision for its employees’ work-life balance with “The Way We Work.” The initiative, which promises maximum flexibility, is just too good to be true or manageable. It’s the latest example of what’s becoming an all-too-common theme: large employers virtue signaling that they’re now all hip and flexible when it comes to how and where their people work.

With the Swiss lender’s recent history — multi-billion-dollar losses due to the Greensill and Archegos scandals — it is tempting to think the company ought to be having more oversight not less. And the new model runs the risk of becoming just another corporate public relations exercise, especially as it is presently just for Swiss employees. (Its rollout in other regions will depend on country-specific Covid guidelines.) While the press release sounds nice, the bank seems far from clear on how to make such flexibility work in practice, and what happens to all those half-empty office buildings.