CEO of the world’s largest investment bank, BlackRock’s, Larry Fink has said it’s unlikely that all of its staff will return to a physical office, suggesting the investment firm is moving increasingly to means of remote working.
BlackRock is one of the world’s largest investment firms, with around $7.4 trillion in assets on its books.
“It’s going to be a new workforce… It’s going to be a new paradigm,” Larry Fink.
Speaking at the Morningstar Investment Conference in the US, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink said that “I don’t believe BlackRock will be ever 100% back in office… I actually believe maybe 60% or 70%, and maybe that’s a rotation of people.”
“But I don’t believe we’ll ever have a full, you know, cadre of people in the office,” Fink said, continuing to explain that “it’s going to be a new workforce. It’s going to be a new paradigm, but I do believe it will be a better paradigm for the firm.”
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Back in March, when the hysteria of the pandemic was ripe, Mr Fink opted to send its employees home to work remotely, in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus. He has since described the realisation that his staff could work to the same degree of productivity while at home “one of the greatest humanistic discoveries.”
Fink noted that productivity of BlackRock’s staff, attention to detail and adherence to deadlines was not impacted while working from home, but there were some compromises to be made while working remotely on such a massive scale.
“Cultures were not meant to be done in a remote fashion, and culture is what binds and unifies us as an organisation,” Fink said, adding that “I’m still not sure how well we’re doing on a cultural basis.”
“Operationally, we’ve done fantastic,” Fink said.
“Through technology, we’ve been operating really well, really efficiently. But I really am worried about this whole idea of culture. How long can you keep that culture together?”
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BlackRock is currently operating with around 30% of its executive team back in the office, with its chief executive saying that he’s aiming to be back in the office next week for “at least three days a week.”
Fink concluded by stating that “I don’t believe we will be the same operational firm we were pre-COVID,” while adding that he thinks BlackRock will be a “better firm,” while continuing to work on a partially remote basis.
A few weeks ago we reported on rumours that oil giant British Petroleum was looking to downsize its London headquarters in St James’s Square when its lease wraps up in 2022.
In the days leading up to that speculation, BP’s chief executive, Bernard Looney made a series of comments regarding remote work practices, stating that there was “no question that work patterns are changing,” in light of the pandemic.
Earlier this year, Looney said that “it’s too early to say what the impact will be on workspace, but it’s unlikely that we will need more workspace and more likely that we will need less workspace over time.”
While BP said it refused to comment on rumour and speculation, the trend from large organisations seems to be quite clear that it doesn’t need to sacrifice any productivity while working remotely.