The Chairman and CEO of JPMorganChase, Jaime Dimon, said in recently press statements that he is fed up with Zoom calls and that the company has lost business to rivals who “showed up in person”. He went on to say commuting to offices and business trips will make a comeback.
In discussing his frustration with virtual meetings, Dimon said that by July the company will have at least 50% of its employees rotating through company offices part time and that by September or October “it will look just like it did before.” His comments were made at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council.
In fact, a recent survey by USA Today found that nearly 68% of workers who are currently working remotely want to return to the office saying they miss human interaction and directly interacting with co-workers. Other large employers who are making plans to recall workers to the office include Microsoft, Progressive insurance, Wells Fargo, IBM, GM, DELL, AT&T, Raytheon Technologies, Pepsi, CVS Health and Amazon.
In detailing their frustration, Dimon and others have said the hassle of dealing with muted workers, background noise, internet and technical problems and other distractions in the home significantly take away from the productivity of meetings and disrupt people’s focus. Other companies have also noted they have lost business deals because they held remote meeting with clients while their competitors showed up in person. “An in person meeting adds a significant amount of personal touch and shows willingness and dedication to a client that you can’t feel when you have a virtual meeting,” said Rosanne Forest, a business psychologist and researcher with Rutgers University.
Dimon also went on to say the economy will grow and remain strong through 2022 and possibly into 2023.
“This is great news for me,” says Randy Stopps, who runs a small restaurant called Game Time near a large office park in Dallas that has remained largely empty for the last year. “Before the pandemic, we were always busy for lunch, it was how we flourished, the area’s business workers came here. But since the pandemic, I’ve had to cut back so far that it barely even looks like we are open.”