Working from home has been surprisingly successful for global banks during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic but is losing its effectiveness, two prominent industry executives said on Tuesday at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
“It’s remarkable it’s working as well as it is, but I don’t think it’s sustainable,” said Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley.
JP Morgan Chase’s head of asset and wealth management Mary Erdoes said: “It is fraying. It is hard.”
Staley said: “It will increasingly be a challenge to maintain the culture and collaboration that these large financial institutions seek to have and should have.”
Erdoes said executives believed that part of the initial success of working from home was due to adrenalin from having to adapt so quickly.
Now, she said, executives were facing the likelihood that Covid-19 and its variants would persist for a long time.
“The world is going to have to figure out how to adapt,” Erdoes said.
Pent-up demand was widespread and could power growth, he said.
“You could have a robust second half to the year,” Staley said, followed by an “explosion of demand.”