May 4 2021 - Jamie Dimon fed up with Zoom calls and remote work

KEY POINTS
  • While he’s fine with the greater flexibility allowed by employees working from home part-time, that’s no substitute for being at the office, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said Tuesday during the Wall Street Journal CEO Council.
  • “I’m about to cancel all my Zoom meetings,” Dimon said. “I’m done with it.”
  • Dimon also claimed that clients told him that in cases where JPMorgan lost business to rivals, it was because “bankers from the other guys visited, and ours didn’t. Well, that’s a lesson.”
  • Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, speaking at the 2019 WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23rd, 2019. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, speaking at the 2019 WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23rd, 2019. Adam Galica | CNBC

    Jamie Dimon is no fan of the new remote work paradigm that has taken hold during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The JPMorgan Chase CEO has already told his U.S. employees that they should begin getting used to returning this month with the goal of having 50% of workers rotating through offices by July. While he’s fine with the greater flexibility allowed by employees working from home part-time, that’s no substitute for being at the office, he said Tuesday during the Wall Street Journal CEO Council.

    “We want people back to work and my view is that sometime in September, October it will look just like it did before,” Dimon said. “And everyone is going to be happy with it, and yes, the commute, you know people don’t like commuting, but so what.”

    While remote work and videoconferencing tools like Zoom have been crucial in allowing Wall Street traders and bankers to continue working during the pandemic, CEOs including Dimon and Goldman Sachs’ David Solomon have expressed dissatisfaction with the new model. That’s in contrast to technology companies like Facebook and Twitter, which have announced a permanent shift to remote work for those who want it.

    “I’m about to cancel all my Zoom meetings,” Dimon said. “I’m done with it.”

    As an illustration, Dimon said that he was “brimming with ideas” after a trip to California last year that he wouldn’t get from Zoom meetings.

    He also claimed that clients told him that in cases where JPMorgan lost business to rivals, it was because “bankers from the other guys visited, and ours didn’t. Well, that’s a lesson.”

    Depending on their roles, employees will still be able to work remotely, Dimon said. JPMorgan currently cannot require workers to be vaccinated, and they won’t force those who object on religious or health grounds, he said.

    The shift to part time remote work is “not going to change everything so dramatically,” he said. “It accelerated a trend, but it does not work for younger people. It doesn’t work for those who want to hustle, it doesn’t work in terms of spontaneous idea generation.”

     Still, not everyone at JPMorgan is thrilled with the prospect of more face time at the office.

    “The wife of a husband sent me a nasty note about `How can you make him go back?” Dimon said.

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