Depressed about heading back to the Office

Yeah, I get it. The learning is better and more important for someone junior like myself. But I'm really enjoying my time at home right now. Maybe things are slower than usual across the board but even on busy days it's not that bad. I can still make time to cook healthy meals I like or do whatever. Simple things even like laundry are Godsend. Quick gym pump at 2pm? Done. Again, this may be because I'm in a group that emphasizes WLB relative to you all on here.

But now with things heading back to the office, I can't help but feel actual dread. Like I'll be trapped. Chained to my desk sitting in uncomfortable clothes. Forced to eat shitty lunches and dinners from outside. I'm also very apprehensive about shitting in the public toilets (not trying to even be funny, seriously). 

It seems insane but this honestly making me reconsider IB even though I surprisingly don't mind the work or hours at all. Honestly. It feels silly to throw away my future especially when I'm actually okay with the work and can see myself grinding it out, but I genuinely do not want to have to go into an office.

Maybe it's something psychological too for me. Like having to dress all up and go sit at a desk and pretend to look busy. Whereas I'm here at home now sitting in sweats just doing some mindless tasks listening to a podcast on full blast. 

Fine call me a pussy or that this generation is weak or whatever but is it so bad that I like this current comfort? I'm not lazy in the sense that I don't want to do work. But why the hell do I have to go through old materials and models all day long in the office when I have nothing going on. Maybe this means I'm not as super passionate about the industry but c'mon. I guess this means corporate life isn't for me or something. I'd like to know how you all feel and are navigating the situation? Maybe you all have a lot of friends in your office and it's seen as a fun part of your day? 

Comments (55)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 9, 2021 - 1:17pm

Maybe being friends/acquaintances with coworkers could help?

Nov 9, 2021 - 6:26pm

Can be dangerous if you're too close because one comment taken out of context can get you fired. Friends can turn to foes quickly. Corporate environment is very PC...


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Nov 10, 2021 - 8:18pm

This feels like a comment coming from someone with little/no experience...going to guess a new hire from this year's cycle (+ the 2020 COVID summer internship).....

Dealing with adversity with another person or as a team builds such a stronger/longer lasting bond than otherwise - if anything, from commiserating between one another or bullshitting behind the scenes; that's what I do at least).

When you go on stretches of working ~20ish days in a row (with a handful of all nighters sprinkled in), you're completely gassed from turning (and turning and turning...) comments, running on espresso and Airbars, and a new stack of comments hits your inbox at 11:30PM on Sunday - sometimes all you can do (especially with WFH) is rage on the universe with the analyst/associate you're staffed with to keep yourselves sane.

I've always thought that going through adversity with a partner or teammate builds way stronger personal relationships between people than otherwise (see: any mandatory New Member Education character building activities in college). Sometimes during the course of this job, you get really unlucky, clients are coming at you with multiple asks on live deals, and life is generally 11 different shades of fucked with no end in sight. Those are the times where you have to rely on your brother / sister that's out there in the shit with you to cover for you when you're getting bukkaked with comments on different live deals at the same time and feel like you're drowning.

There's sort of an unspoken bond or level of trust between a junior team that had already been through the ringer with one another a previous process. You wouldn't fuck your teammate over, particularly for such an petty and innocuous reason like not being PC in conversation. Like that's just something that's very hard for me to empathize with or comprehend - hard to see it happening.

  • Associate 2 in HF - EquityHedge
Nov 9, 2021 - 5:20pm

Hopefully senior people in the industry will pull their heads out of their asses on this topic before all of our engineers churn out after bonus season. Cat's out of the bag, flexibility is better.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 9, 2021 - 7:31pm

Why is this getting MS? And the other guy was a dick to OP also. Convinced there's a segment on this site that either enjoys seeing others upset or just isn't actually I'm the field to know what it's like.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 9, 2021 - 8:54pm

Have you guys been WFH this whole time? Because if so I think you should be a little more open-minded. My firm was WFH for the first two weeks and we have been flexed in-office every since. Most people come in M-Thurs and do WFH friday but I think the culture around WFH has really changed post-covid so people pretty much come in when they want/need to. Plus you get to meet and bond with fellow analysts/associates which could be an aspect of the analyst experience you didn't even know you've been missing out on. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 9, 2021 - 9:02pm

Your mileage will vary based on the culture of your firm but deadass I've walked out at 715 and just said I was gonna wfh. Another junior just stopped coming in. Generally people don't care as long as you do your shit.

Nov 10, 2021 - 8:40am

My thoughts are that WFH should be a flexible thing, TWT should be in-office. But MF imo should be an optional WFH. And obviously, if there are circumstances that stop you from coming into the office one day then that should be accepted. Being in the office with your colleagues is important but so is the time at home or with family. It gives people the ability to go home to see family for 4 days and still get work done. It would absolutely make IB much more bearable since you have some time to do other things. Instead of acting like you're being productive on a PPT from 3 years ago on a slow Monday morning you can do some cleaning, get a workout in, etc. Banks that allow WFH 1/2 times a week will see alot less burnout imo, unless ofc they are just sweaty 99% of the time. I can't tell you how many times I've had a 5-hour break and just sat there on my phone scrambling to look productive when someone walked by, and it's just stupid.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 10, 2021 - 9:30am

Why not just let everyone decide if they want to come in whenever? If banks were able to post record profits in one the busiest periods ever all from home what gives? I understand for client meetings and stuff it's different and I'd still argue that everyone on the team should be located in the same city as the office, but why even have mandated days to come in when deals and work flows are so random? I could end up having a shit ton of weekend work at home but then nothing at the start of the week.

Nov 10, 2021 - 1:48pm

This x1000. It is almost like working in the office has nothing to do with productivity or raw output, but control over employees during work hours. It is such bullshit. 

Mandatory work in office protocol is only to appease boomers who want to avoid their miserable lives at home. Any younger person (e.g., pre-kids) has a huge incentive to want to WFH whenever possible. With the lack of client facing activities going on (particularly at a junior level), being in-person no longer adds value.

Additionally, I am sure IB is the same as consulting right now, but when there are client meetings, only the big dogs are going right now. No one with under 6 years of FT experience is going, as they arent deemed necessary. They just dial in, same as any other junior employee. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 10, 2021 - 9:47am

I'm dreading it too. I've gone into the office maybe 3 times since starting in July and the thought of going in is terrifying. 

Every single one of my deals is in a holding pattern. I maybe do 5 hours of work a week and my new project is I get the pleasure of training this mba associate who has never worked in finance, let alone banking (no internship). Yesterday's training session was 60 minutes of "how to send a calendar invite" he could not wrap his head around it. I've logged off before 5 everyday for the past week. Meanwhile, my other analysts are dying because they work under associates who are out to get them so I'm in no hurry to add another vertical.

Guess I'll have to schedule all my meetings T-Th to look busy and avoid getting more staffing because I'm going to die come 2022 when everything starts up again.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 10, 2021 - 1:30pm

The sad thing is it is true (he has to be a diversity hire) and the mba associate is going to be the one to ruin it by telling other team members we do nada. Our vertical has brought in the most fees this year. Everyday on our circle ups he quadruple checks he doesn't need to do anything and the vp says knock on wood. The VP tells me to log off at 4:00 and to have my phone on me. Said vp has also blocked out a 2 hour slot on our calendars for us to eat lunch and go to the gym.

Lots of turnover recently, a couple of senior folks on vacation, and things slowing down for the holidays has helped.

  • Principal in Legal
Nov 10, 2021 - 10:31am

Yes. If you're dreading it that much, give someone else who's hungrier and happy to come into the office an opportunity and find a career where you can easily work from home.

Otherwise you'll be wasting your time and your employer's time.

Nov 10, 2021 - 1:42pm

Everyone feels this way. That's why permanent work from home or remote are being offered more and more. Although coming in a couple times a week is definitely helpful from an efficiency perspective in my opinion as some things are better talked about live.

Nov 10, 2021 - 1:49pm

Is Citi IBD still remote/hybrid or are they mostly in-person?

I know most banks are back to full in-person during the week, any banks we know that are still hybrid/ flexible?


Nov 11, 2021 - 2:24am

Genuinely think getting past the first couple days/weeks will be super game changing. It's definitely an added inconvenience to the norm of having to commute to the office but you'll hopefully find that you're able to create and develop good relationships with folks you work with who you've only really talked to via zoom or email. It really makes a difference and can honestly be fun if you go out for dinner/drinks. And especially now, a lot of firms bringing ppl back to the office will sponsor outings in the name of rebuilding camaraderie so take advantage! 

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 11, 2021 - 9:41am

Eh what's the point? There's so much turnover in this industry and the chance is that you stay in touch with people. I don't know, call me naive, but I don't buy it. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
Nov 12, 2021 - 2:07am

Building relationships with coworkers = relationships that may be helpful to you / your career in the future 

people hook others up with jobs / interviews / deal intros etc all the time in this industry 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 11, 2021 - 4:22pm

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