Coronavirus: Goldman Sachs staff to social distance upon return to office

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, the logo for Goldman Sachs appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Goldman Sachs is expecting a $5 billion hit to profits during the fourth quarter because of the tax overhaul recently signed into law. The New York bank said Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, that two thirds of the $5 billion are due to changes in repatriation taxes, when funds are returned from overseas. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
The logo for Goldman Sachs appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Richard Drew/AP)

Goldman Sachs (GS) staff around the world will have to socially distance from each other as they begin to return to the office, a sign of the new normal setting in at corporations around the world.

Management at the investment bank sent staff a global memo on Thursday setting out Goldman’s “return to office approach.”

Executives said the bank was “establishing key protocols and preparing our facilities” to ensure the bank’s more than 30,000 staff worldwide were safe as they begin to get back to corporate life.

Changes include “controls around building access, strict physical distancing measures, and enhanced cleaning regimes.” The banks said it was also reviewing on-site cafeterias, childcare facilities, and gyms, as well as investigating the safest way for staff to get to work.

“Our clear guiding principle is people first − our priority above all else is your health and safety,” chief executive David Solomon, chief operating officer John Waldron, and chief finance officer Stephen Scherr wrote in the joint memo.

Read more: Goldman Sachs gives staff special COVID-19 leave

Stepped up cleaning routines and strict controls on social distancing are among the measures office staff around the world will have to get used to in the coming months. Barclays chief executive Jes Staley said packed offices would likely be “a thing of the past” and said the bank was considering similar measures to Goldman, such as lifts running at half capacity.

Goldman said staff in Hong Kong, China, Stockholm and Tel Aviv had “started gradually returning to the office” but it would take longer to get people back in offices in New York and London, where strict lockdown measures remain in place. UK prime minister Boris Johnson is due to announce the beginning of a relaxation of some measures on Sunday.

Goldman’s management said they would “continue to learn and adapt as we move forward.”