Time to get back to rock pile, in a manner of speaking, if someone works at BlackRock. The powers that be have laid down the law: come to the office at least four days a week, according to a Reuters report.
“We will shift to at least four days per week in the office, with the flexibility to work from home one day per week,” said a memo that Reuters had seen. “This new approach begins on the 11th of September.”
BlackRock has plenty of company. AT&T is both reducing its office footprint into nine main offices and requiring managers, for now at least, to be in at least three days a week, according to a Bloomberg report. That’s reminiscent of Walmart’s move in February, closing three of its U.S. technology centers and requiring tech staff to relocate if necessary, working at least two days a week in the office, or lose their job, though with severance.
Other companies on the get-back-here list for at some types of employees are JP Morgan Chase (half of employees in five days a week and the other half four), Amazon (at least three days a week), Citigroup (minimum of two days), Apple (three days), Goldman Sachs (five), and Disney (four), according to Business Insider.
But it’s not clear how well all this is going across industries because in a tight labor market even with elevated layoffs, employers might not have enough pull to win negotiations.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas’s latest survey says that job seekers who relocate for new jobs hit a record low. “In the first quarter, 1.6% of job seekers relocated for new positions, according to the survey, down from 3.7% in the final quarter of 2022 and 4.6% in the same quarter last year,” they wrote. “It is much lower than the 7.5% of job seekers who moved for positions in the second quarter of 2020, the highest since Q4 2018, when 7.7% of job seekers relocated.” In the 1980s and 1990s, a third of job seekers would have moved the firm asserted. “Now, remote and hybrid positions are keeping workers at home,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of the agency.
Game vendor Activision Blizzard started a return-to-office (RTO) program that some have blamed for a loss of critical development talent when people want to work from home, reported gaming site Kotaku.
The Wall Street Journal reported that even though office occupancy rates did top 50%, they stopped. “Those office-usage rates have barely budged as most companies have settled into a hybrid work strategy that shows little sign of fading,” the story said. JPMorgan Chase’s four to five days a week seems to have vanished as work needs to get done.