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Bankers at Morgan Stanley, Citi, share their WFH set-ups

You will be judged.

You may not have a fancy rona-rig with three screens, speakers and electric guitar but that doesn't mean your work from home assemblage is inadequate. Now that working from home in finance is the norm, more people are sharing images of comparatively modest workspaces and dispensing advice to colleagues.

“When working, I make sure my posture is good, the brightness on the monitors is adjusted correctly, my phone battery is sufficiently charged, and to drink plenty of water," says Morgan Stanley security specialist Shank Hettiarachchige in the photograph below from the bank's Linkedin page. "I've started keeping a carafe filled with water on the desk to make sure I frequently hydrate myself,” he adds. His MS colleague Dana Greiman in enterprise technology and services has two screens, a large print of a flower, a desk plant and a dog. “I use a second larger monitor to better navigate across projects, and only a headset plugged into my laptop to talk with colleagues – no smartphone required,” she says.

Senior Citi bankers have also been busy displaying their work from home arrangements. The pastiche below includes Phil Drury (the EMEA head of banking, capital markets and advisory) in the middle left image, and Alison Harding Jones, head of EMEA M&A in the middle bottom. Emily Turner, head of innovation in Citi's institutional clients group has also shared a photograph of herself and her dog, Marge.

The best work from home set-ups have two key ingredients. Neither are screens. To stand out when you WFH, you need a well-behaved pet; you also need a photogenic bookshelf. 

Bookshelves have been causing a bit of a headache for some. When Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid first started working from home nearly two weeks ago, he said his wife helped him replace all his sports and music books with business books that were visible on the shelves behind his desk.

Reid's was probably a wise move. - Books are definitely noticed during conference calls. One banker told the Financial Times he was astonished at the amount of John Grisham on colleagues' shelves. “What I love [on zoom calls] is looking at people’s book cases — the amount of John Grisham . . . they have on there. And these are educated people!” she said.

In beautiful bookshelf terms, the best bookshelf prize probably goes to Francesco Meucci in media relations at Citi. Meucci shared his own work-from-home-bookshelf-photo on LinkedIn last week, demonstrating a wide array of tomes categorised by colour. Some of Meucci's books appear to be on drama and sociology, suggesting a more rarefied cultural sensibility than that of the bankers reading Grisham. Such things may even be remembered after this is all over.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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