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JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks up about remote work: 'there are real flaws'

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon expressed skepticism about remote work, saying the practice has "real flaws" in a Tuesday interview with The Economist.

Jamie Dimon on Tuesday expressed skepticism about remote work.

In an interview with The Economist, the JPMorgan Chase CEO says he tells people to "acknowledge what doesn’t work" about working from home. 

"It doesn’t work for younger kids in apprenticeships. It doesn’t really work for creativity and spontaneity," he told the outlet. "It doesn’t really work for management teams."

He argued that "there are real flaws" with remote work, mentioning his in-person management team having back-and-forth interactions and needing to do follow-ups on certain matters over the course of the day.

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In the private sector, more than 27% of establishments reported having workers that only went into the office part time or not at all in August and September, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data published in March.

A Partnership for New York City survey released in February found that an average of 52% of office workers in Manhattan were working in person on weekdays as of January. JPMorgan Chase and many other banks have headquarters there.

Tracking productivity is easier for some positions than others, Dimon said in the interview.

"You know, to the extent it [remote work] works, I’m OK with it. If it doesn’t work, I don’t mind getting rid of it either," he said.

Dimon went on to note that people "can try one thing" and he "can try another" in a free enterprise system.

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"I completely understand why someone doesn’t want to commute an hour and a half every day, totally got it," he told The Economist, adding, "Doesn’t mean they have to have a job here either."

About 60% of JPMorgan Chase’s staff come into the office daily while 30% do so three times per week, according to the CEO. None of the company’s managing directors are remote, he added.

He said 10% of the bank’s headcount, such as those in certain sales or service positions, were "always at home."

WALL STREET FIRMS SET LABOR DAY AS BENCHMARK FOR RETURN TO IN-OFFICE WORK

Many Wall Street firms, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, took steps in the fall of 2022 to reduce remote work. JPMorgan had return-to-office pushes for top trading staffers in late 2020 and, more recently, in April for MDs.

"It’s got to work for the company and, more importantly, the clients," Dimon said in interview. "If it doesn’t work for the clients, it does not work."

Some companies in the tech, entertainment and food sectors have made changes to their remote work policies this year, mandating certain employees to report in person. Those include Meta Platforms, Amazon, Disney and Starbucks.

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