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"I'm an associate at Goldman Sachs. I don't want to be in the office"

I'm an associate in the investment bank at Goldman Sachs and I'm not a big fan of being in the office five days a week. 

I can see that there are benefits to being in the office very day as an analyst, but once you get to associate and above it makes a lot less sense. At these levels, you need more flexibility.

When you're an associate or VP in banking, you need to be available 24/7 and you have a huge volume of work to do.

Every morning I wake up to between 50 and 100 emails. Sometimes I get stuck at home simply because there's so much urgent work to do. - There's barely time to breathe before 2pm. If we're required in the office five days a week, then work will be dropped. There's an opportunity cost to travelling in for 10am every day. Things will be prioritized and things will suffer. 

Senior executives might argue that people were in the office before the pandemic, but teams are being run much leaner now and deals are coming back. When you're on a live deal, you log off at 2am and then you have calls starting at 8am. Are we expected to come into the office despite this? 

At the same time, the reality of this job is that most of our work is on cross border deals. Our teams are scattered around the globe. Even if I am in the office, most of my work will be on video calls. 

Euan Francis is a pseudonym 

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AUTHOREuan Francis Insider Comment
  • ph
    photobug56
    31 August 2023

    Well said. In IB, many jobs require long hours, good concentration, and while some time in office may be useful (for me, vendor meetings, especially certain types of product demos and some lectures), most of the time in office was full of distractions and wasted time. My work was full of analysis, contract negotiations, lots of phone and video calls. Unless one has a private office, you can't do this well in an office. Long days on top of a 4 hour round trip commute just lead to burnout.


    I'll admit to, in some jobs, avoid face to face with incompetent and / or abusive managers - and on the other hand, appreciated face to face time with good ones. Of course, among the former, I had one who had trouble using basic office phones and had no understanding of what web cams were for. Another who would stand in his office doorway and find someone to scream at - just for the fun of it. Out of sight, out of mind has its good points. But overall, I've long been far more productive working remotely - even from a hospital room, than on a long desk or in a tiny, low walled cube.


    But hey, the bosses demand in office - check out their offices, dining rooms, and the cars that take them to work, maybe even company paid luxury apartments near the office. And then there are the bosses who move company offices to the super expensive suburbs where their houses are.


    There are exceptions, but remote work for seasoned employees tends to make far more sense.

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