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"My fintech job was WFH. I've joined a bank in the office instead"

I'm a senior developer in the finance sector. I've spent several years working for fintech firms and am soon joining a major US bank. One of the reasons for my change is work from home: I don't like it. 

The fintech I worked for had a policy of asking everyone to work from home. When this was initiated, I asked if I could work in the office but my request was rejected. 

Remote work is not the way forward. It means longer hours, burnout, exposure to distractions. By comparison, the office is where creativity happens and colleagues interact spontaneously; you can't replicate that online. When you're stuck at home, you're susceptible to loneliness and isolation and become disconnected from the organization.

Decision makers understand this. They look at the global performance metrics and are against work from home (WFH). They know the numbers. They see the side effects, mental health issues and massive lack of innovation.

However, many senior decision-makers are also reluctant to abandoning the WFH policy, because it will affect the hiring process. It has become very, very hard to find good talent in big, expensive cities like London.

This is mistake on behalf of candidates. Work-from-office bias is real. I don’t have hard evidence, but most layoffs happen to WFH guys. And people with physical approximately to managers have a better chance of getting promoted. 

That's why I'm joining a bank that will expect me in the office more than three days a week.

Joseph Huffman is a pseudonym

 

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AUTHORJoseph Huffman Insider Comment
  • no
    noneof yourbus
    7 July 2023

    People are not stupid.

    If you dont deliver, it doesnt matter where you are.

    If you dont deliver, you better be very close to the manager.

    If you think you are going to get promoted in a bank because you are working in the office, you better learn your industry.

    Promotions in banks are as bureaucratic as it gets. 3 years in between AVP-> DIR roles, above that you need to be into the politics - time doesnt matter.

    To get an exception, you better be 'very close' to the manager. And be part of 1 or more minorities.

    It helps, trust me.

  • Po
    Podmore
    22 June 2023

    the article neglects to mention that a lot of managers reluctance to end WFH is because they themselves have a vested interest in being able to do it too. that does not mean it is better for the organisation, the conflict of interest is clear. the experience of work is about so much more than completing tasks and being paid. work, if it is not to become boring and unsustainable, needs to be a little bit theatrical and that requires having the actors all on the same physical stage in the appropriate costume. so many of the the younger generations who have grown up addicted to screens and virtual worlds are ill placed to opine on this crucial importance of physical presence.

  • Um
    Umasub
    21 June 2023

    Nonsense. Unless you are in a service job like hair salons, medicine, etc, remote work is the BEST thing that happened in my life time. PRODUCTIVITY has never been higher, especially among younger women with domestic responsibilities. We go into the office 2 days a week, but that makes no difference to the quality of our work. In fact it is ridiculous as we’re still on zoom talking to team mates spread out all over the country. In fact, I am so much more focused at home. I have to remind myself to get out of my office take a break, to make myself some tea, take a quick walk in my backyard etc.

  • Io
    Ioannis
    17 June 2023

    Sponsored article without any real substance.


    Commercial real estate ownerw and old guard are panicking and sponspring articles all over.


    There is a debate, room to grow, but such articles do not reflect reality

  • Mi
    Mikoz
    17 June 2023

    I do not like offices. I never have. People aren't collaborating and being creative. They are talking about the game, their kids, the baby shower, or who is sleeping with who. I wear headphones to keep them away. Even when I don't, you want to know how they communicate with me about work? Through chat or email. We're in the same office but it's best that things have paper trails.


    How many of you end up in virtual meetings that are a complete waste of your time that you are silent through while doing other work that is actually needer? Well, in the office, you get stuck in thise same useless meetings that you are silent through and stuck pretending to pay attention while wondering why you are even there.


    My current job is trying to force me back into the office. Guess how many people on my team are in this country let alone the state? My manager isn't even in this state. I'm in the office doing virtual meetings the same way I do at home. But now I have to spend gas, talk to people I don't have a business need to know and don't want to talk to, pack lunches or buy expensive food, and be constantly interrupted and distracted for no reason. When I'm at home, I can at least put the chat application on do not disturb.


    I was working from home long before the pandemic, but because some people are lonely they are forcing me back in. Maybe some job types are better in person, but not all. There is no need to just follow trends and send everyone back into a building. Not when the "collaboration", "connection", improved feedback they are using as an excuse isn't going to happen because you're still doing everything virtually! Let the people who need to be around people go in. Let the people who will actually be present with their team on site go back to the office...if they don't communicate strictly through chat and email anyway. Let the people who think their vurtual onboarding was awful find out that it wasn't awful because it was virtual. Let the people who feel the office is one massive distraction stay home in their peaceful environment they designed for the purpose of focus and productivity. And if a load of laundry gets done, so what? Takes less time to throw the load in and get back to a laptop than it takes for people to get their print jobs while gossiping.


    I used to work for myself before the pandemic. May be time to go back to that.

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