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Comments (53)

Aug 13, 2021 - 12:20pm

They should definitely do a hybrid model. No point in being in the office at 9:00pm when all you've done for the last 3 hours is twiddle your thumbs and fake like you're doing work. Its genuinely counter productive. Friday or Monday should be WFH imo at least for analysts/associates

Aug 16, 2021 - 10:11am

A more flexible work "shift" should have always been the answer in the IB world. Why was it ever OK to have a team of highly paid people (compared to their peers)sit around and twiddle their thumbs waiting for a rework on something that nobody cares about, especially the client. It's a stupid model to begin with. If the industry really knew how to sell (create and control client interest / expectations vs. throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks). "Do it this way because we've always done it this way" is ripe for creative destruction and breakthroughs.

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 12:21pm

Finally this post was made. A lot of noise (understandably) is made about how it's tougher for juniors with workload increase during WFH and how they want to return and all that etc, but I'm shocked that some people are okay with giving up the little freedom they still have to be in an office where you can't walk around, scroll wherever, play music and shows as loudly as you like, clean bathroom, eat whatever you want whenever (huge time and money savings from heating up some frozen food everyday).

I think people should still be located in the same city or near their offices in terms of living so they can run to meet their team members whenever possible quickly and maybe some more restrictions for first year analysts so they can ramp up better, but what's the reason for wanting to seriously be in the chair around everyone all day? Maybe I will regret my words but I much rather have an increased workload from home than be forced to go into the office every single day. 

Hybrid model for Friday through Monday being WFH (I think like Lazard is pushing) should be a good minimum no? I really can't find a good argument against any of this. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 13, 2021 - 12:25pm

I like this model. Tues-Thurs mandatory in office sure, but then everything else should be optional. Some people with more hectic or less than ideal living situations might be in all the time, but I think the move is to give us the optionality on Friday-Monday.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 12:30pm

Yea and if anything that Tues-Thurs should be a max for in-person. No reason it can't be cut down to 2 or even 1 day in the office. Like if everyone is located in the same city 10 or so minutes from each other they can always rush into the office if people want to walk-through a slide or something together then just head back home.

Aug 16, 2021 - 8:10pm

Most of the things you listed can be done in the office. You can get up and walk around (wide floors). You can listen to music (obviously use headphones) while working. Offices have microwaves so you can bring frozen food in and heat it. I've heard of guys who gamed or binge watched TV during WFH but if you're in FO don't expect much (if any) of that even during WFH. You're going to get pinged frequently even during meetings on work:work related tasks. Not everyone is in the same time zone so the dinner/lunch times aren't really the same so you're not guaranteed this time to eat with coworkers (which my guess was different pre Covid) and will often receive work requests during this time. The learning curve is significantly worse with WFH. It sounds easy until you get emailed a bunch of old files that you'll need to rebuild for whatever is going on atm. Guidance from an associate or VP involves setting up a 30 min zoom call on their calendar instead of a 5 minute meeting at the cubicle a few rows down. Associates and VPs are busy though so you might get a call or two a week if you're lucky. The best you can do is try to figure out what is going on with your equally lost analyst class. And we don't always figure out everything. I know my work product is worse because of the limited interaction I get with seniors and 0 facetime. Working alone in your parents basement or small apartment creates a really depressing mood. OP has a satisfying relationship (and lives with SO) so he has more to lose than most analysts have. It's a mixed bag though as I've hesrd several directors/MD who seem to hate being with the family and use work as an excuse to get out.

i understand that associate/VP time is precious so I get why they would want some time at home. The thing you have to realize though is that they're able to do their job because someone trained them in person. I wish I knew everything but I obviously don't as an analyst so it's nice if they could help. Having said that I understand they have lives so I think a hybrid model works for A2A or higher. I don't think Tuesday-TH or MWF makes sense as work doesn't just come on these 3 days. What makes more sense is that they can leave earlier (say 3-4PM) and continue working from home so the morning/early afternoon is when meetings and training can take place. I don't think analysts need to sit in the office until 2AM but I really do think it's inportsnt to do the work with others who can be contacted easily and having seniors out of the office will create a more relaxed work environment in the evenings.

i want to be extremely clear- I'm happy that I have a job and don't want to come across as some whiny kid. I just see value in being in the office 5 days a week, value that is lost in the WFH arrangement.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Aug 17, 2021 - 2:37pm

This is a horrible take. The easiest response to this is that WFH should be given as an option to employees. If you face trouble ramping up / producing good work / etc, go to the office. If you feel fine / have reasons to be home / produce good work regardless, stay home when you want. Literally just simple as that. No one is talking about abolishing in-office work here

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 19, 2021 - 3:46pm

I appreciate being able to eat on my balcony instead of at my desk,  I appreciate being able to play one game of cod rather than have to look at my phone for 5 mins.  I appreciate being able to read a book while waiting for comments rather than someone walking by my desk and getting mad at me for not working.  I came out middle bucket while getting all the above luxuries.  That's alright for me to get middle if I get all the items above. It makes my life much better.  

Aug 13, 2021 - 8:03pm

There just needs to be balance and flexibility.  100% WFH is not sustainable.  Face time is important (no not staying until 2 am bc your VP is still there, face time as in having normal conversations with people, in person).  100 hours in the office is silly and inefficient.  

Long story short, investment banking sucks, it really does, the decision makers care but not enough to enact change.  Get through it and move on - it's worth it.  No need to stay more than 2 years, no need whatsoever.  

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 8:08pm

Eh I honestly think most banks will adopt some sort of hybrid policy. They'll have to cave in to demands. It's already been decided on by a few places and there's too many people now accustomed to scrolling around, doing laundry, cooking, whatever in between turns. 

Aug 13, 2021 - 8:09pm

I dno, once COVID is in the past, you better believe analysts will be in the office 99% of the time

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 11:57pm

A lot of people (including myself) moved out of the city/state during the pandemic. It's going to suck ass to have to go back. I'll try commuting for 1.5 hrs each way for a month or two maybe once I start going back. 

Aug 14, 2021 - 1:58pm

100% true OP. A lot of folks on the forum were earlier thinking that being in the office will solve all problems (eg just pick up your gym bag and leave and if the VP comes to your desk, he knows it's "gym time" or folks are "getting dinner"). How's that playing now for folks who are in office full-time? 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 14, 2021 - 4:52pm

The younger MDs in my group said they had record years in closing deals and are more efficient working from home

Aug 16, 2021 - 10:34am

While I wish this was purely attributable to a more efficient WFH model, I am afraid this has much more to do with the overall M&A/Capital Raising environment. I think the hardest part about WFH is the developmental delay we have seen in our newer hires (both lateral and UG). Unfortunately, a lot of the most effective training in this job comes from sitting next to your peers and learning through watching and asking questions. I do think there is the potential for the training "style" to shift to accommodate the WFH or hybrid business model, but as it stands, IB in general is poorly set up to accomplish this. In order to accomplish this, there will have to be top-down changes in order to facilitate appropriate development at ALL levels.  

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Aug 20, 2021 - 11:56am

No traveling for the seniors is a big part of it. But some clients are already requesting some in-person roadshows, so I guess part of this efficiency will drop. An MD doesn't have to spend half of the time in an airplane anymore...

Aug 14, 2021 - 5:40pm

Question for the younger people in here: are you concerned you'll miss out on all of the unstructured learning that happens by sitting in the office? Picking up on discussions near you, getting pulled into calls, being able to have someone review things with you in real time,  etc.?

I've found that my analysts and associates have struggled with the WFH model for this reason, they're not picking up on things as quickly as they otherwise would.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 14, 2021 - 5:55pm

I think that would be mitigated with a hybrid model for sure. Otherwise, there's no reason when there's downtime (especially in that 6-9ish lull) where we shouldn't be free to scroll around (instead of reading the same ass WSJ on our monitors), run back home for a bit to eat, laundry or do whatever, hell take a nap even. There's just so much inefficiency in having all the analysts and associates sit around and wait on one another in the office while faking productivity otherwise. I understand that's just how it used to be done and there's a sense of "well I did it, so you must too!" from more senior guys but it's not really an argument that will ultimately help the bank succeed where you need all levels to be satisfied and comfortable to some extent. 

Aug 14, 2021 - 6:01pm

Absolutely agree on the "if there is no reason to be here, why the fuck should I sit here." No argument from me, and the "rite of passage" argument is equally stupid.

I just worry that the little, random shit is missed on the days when people aren't in. Maybe that's alleviated by better communication and a focus on checking in (with substance, not just wasting more time on bullshit).

Helpful thoughts though, I honestly don't think it'll change until the "olds" are no longer decision makers, or it affects the bottom line.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 15, 2021 - 2:42pm

 clueless intern asking a fellow intern from China if she likes Panda Express

this is going to be me i stg 

Aug 15, 2021 - 4:34pm

I was initially, after having gotten so used to the WFH environment and schedule (actually being able to do shit with down time is amazing and the chores don't built up like they normally would).

Switched firms recently, and the prior firm I was at I had never gone into the office once (started right as pandemic hit full swing), so I'm looking forward to actually getting some team interaction since I felt I was missing that. Also having a firm/group that is accepting of a hybrid model (not sure if that will change) allows that flexibility to maintain a nice balance. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 16, 2021 - 12:25am

This post absolutely said it all - as a rising college senior/incoming full-time despite the steep virtual learning curve, I'd prefer grabbing lunch & doing chores & occasionally calling friends during down hours. Have been doing online school for 1.5 years now honestly can't imagine suiting up and sitting in the office pass 6pm and just waiting on being handed work. Truly hope all banks regardless of EB/BB/MM can adapt Tue-Thu mode.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Aug 16, 2021 - 2:57am

I'd love a plan where we could go home around 6 and continue any necessary / ad hoc work from home. But because that's likely hard to "structure" (which is of inherent benefit) I doubt anything like this would ever happen. 

Aug 16, 2021 - 3:11am

I see you guys mention looking at the same pages on wsj, do they not even give you a Bloomberg subscription or access to the terminal. I waste hours at my job reading Bloomberg articles

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Aug 16, 2021 - 11:22am

there's usually 1 or 2 terminals per floor. virtually, 1 or 2 logins - so you can't sit on bloomberg for hours either way

Aug 16, 2021 - 4:07pm

Been working hybrid for the last 6 months - it's great and I'm very glad my bank is keeping it for a foreseeable.

I go in to the office most days for the social aspects as much as anything (live by myself) but being able to leave when it's daylight, eat at home, go to the residents gym in my building, and wfh in the evenings/any day I like is great.

Aug 16, 2021 - 6:53pm

Would need at least a couple days in the office for juniors. Seen training and getting up the learning curve deteriorate fast with recent new hires (new to banking). It's still an apprenticeship business and don't think fully remote or minimally remote works for adequate productivity of the team.

Aug 17, 2021 - 12:01pm

Also just received news from our bank that they're sticking with the September return date and I fucking hate that they're making it mandatory. WFH has clearly worked (at least for us 2nd/3rd year analysts and above) but the old timers are just stuck in their old ways with this face time bullshit like it makes a whole lot of difference. At least give us a hybrid option where we only go to the office maybe 2-3x a week, especially if we have family who are more at risk to Covid/Delta even if vaccinated. I'm sure these banks came to these ridiculous conclusions without even doing their own due diligence.

Contra omnes dissident
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Aug 17, 2021 - 12:04pm

Totally agree. But feel like I only can say this because I spent most of my first two years as an analyst in the office full time. Especially as someone that came in as a non-finance/irrelevant major, I cannot imagine learning the ropes virtually - so much of it was randomly listening in on client calls, standing behind a more senior team member while they modeled, being able to ask really dumb questions about my industry coverage without that question being immortalized in a chat box, etc. To be clear I hated it at the time, but now that I've moved to a new role in the middle of covid, I fully appreciate just how comfortable I am with my skill set because of the hell I had to go through. I just don't know how I would have ramped up that quickly or have as strong of a skill set without the experience. Plus, I'm super close to a lot of people in my analyst class which I think is quite special. 

I think the best solution is to have flexibility built in and be allowed to finish work at home in the evenings, though I don't know exactly how to structure or enforce this.  

Aug 20, 2021 - 2:45am

100% agree with you. The camaraderie you build with your analyst class and even your deal teams helps in your development much more than just friendships. Banking and the broader high finance universe is largely predicated on your EQ. Now this isn't just limited to how to interact with your colleagues, but also sitting in on calls in your MDs office and listening to how he / she talks to the client or counterparty helps you understand how to behave or interact in pretty nuanced situations. To continue on that example, you may not get the experience of listening on these calls when virtual given your MD may not want that many participants to show up on the Zoom or whatever it is and after the call you may lack that in-person debrief on deciphering how everything went and what they thought stuck out to them etc. That's just one specific scenario obviously but I do think that just being virtual significantly curbs the professional setting behavior learning arc given lack of these kinds of small but impactful interactions

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