Jefferies CEO pushes return to office over ‘lonely home silos’

The boss of a top Wall Street financial firm pressed his workers on Thursday to leave their “lonely home silos” and return to the office — joining other major banks in pushing staff to return to their desks full-time after Labor Day.

Jefferies CEO Richard Handler signaled the firm will take a lighter approach than other firms by not tracking office attendance and allowing staffers to occasionally work from home.

But Handler stressed the investment banking firm wants its senior staffers to return to its headquarters at 520 Madison Ave. in Midtown in the coming days.

“As long as Covid continues to be manageable, we need everyone back in our offices on a consistent basis so we can truly maximize our fourth and final quarter and the future that is ahead,” Handler said in a memo to staffers. “We need our seniors in, so we can have motivated and impactful juniors.”

“We are not going to look at individual names on the turnstiles and we have absolutely no issue when people need to utilize the hybrid solution,” Handler added. “Let’s all just appreciate that together, rather than in lonely home silos, we can do our best to close out the year the right way.”

The Post has reached out to Jefferies for further comment on its work-from-home policy.

The investment banking firm joined other Wall Street mainstays in pushing a return-to-office plan following the Labor Day holiday — despite resistance from junior staffers who have grown comfortable with the flexibility provided by remote work.

As The Post reported earlier this week, Goldman Sachs sent a memo to employees this week revealing it has lifted all COVID-19 protocols, including vaccine and mask requirements. The banking giant has informed workers it expects them on site five days a week after Labor Day. Morgan Stanley sent a similar memo, Fox reported.

Meanwhile, sources said JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon has been quietly telling senior managers that he expects workers to be at their desks five days a week, though the company’s official policy calls for three days per week on site.

Staffers are increasingly concerned that office attendance could become a factor if the economic downturn results in a hiring freeze or eventual cuts.

“The worry is if people aren’t in their seats five days a week, those seats could be moved from our team,” a source close to the situation told The Post. “If someone’s not there, it makes it a pretty easy decision to fire them first.”

Return-to-office plans have become a topic of heated debate in the corporate world. Earlier this month, writer Malcolm Gladwell faced widespread criticism after he argued in favor of onsite work.


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