BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said his $10 trillion investment management company would be “taking a harder line as to how we bring our employees back” into the office and that having workers in their cubicles is key to bringing down record levels of inflation.
We have to get our employees back in the office,” Fink said, adding it would result in “rising productivity that will offset some of the inflationary pressures.”
Fink told Fox Business on Tuesday that BlackRock would ask employees to be “more mindful of their responsibilities” in the office, including increasing productivity.
He cited “more troublesome” statistics from the Department of Labor which showed that non-farm productivity fell 4.6% in the second quarter year-over-year. In the first quarter, productivity dropped 7.4%.
Fink said that working remotely led to a drop-off in productivity and that bringing employees back into the office “is going to be a key element in bringing down inflation.”
Fink predicted that bringing workers back “could be a great offset, and that could make the Federal Reserve’s job to be a little less difficult, and it then may lead to a less aggressive Fed.”
The Fed has taken a hawkish stance with several interest rate hikes in recent months in hopes of engineering a “soft landing” — bringing down inflation without plunging the economy deeper into a recession.
Inflation rose by 8.5% year-over-year in July — slightly down from the whopping 9.1% in June. The surge in the consumer price index is the largest in four decades.
He made the comments on the same day that BlackRock circulated an email to employees informing them that they would be expected in the office three days a week, according to Yahoo! Finance.
“Time together is how we deliver for clients,” BlackRock COO Rob Goldstein and head of human resources Manish Mehta wrote in the email.
“All employees must work from the office at least three days per week, with up to two days per week working from home.”
Goldstein and Mehta noted that “exceptions to the 3+2 model will be rare and require formal approval.”
Any employee with “extenuating circumstances” that prevent them from meeting the three-day-a-week in-office requirement must submit a formal exception request.
The nationwide mass vaccination campaign and plummeting rates of COVID hospitalizations and deaths have given Wall Street bosses renewed impetus to compel their employees back into the office.
Earlier this week, The Post reported that “soft messaging” by CEOs of Wall Street giants such as JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs has made it clear that employees are expected back at their office desks five days a week.
Goldman last month took the dramatic step of lifting all COVID protocols and dropping its vaccine requirement. The investment giant will no longer require testing or masking — thus paving the way for its work force’s en masse return to the office.