Goldman Sachs is cutting free coffee as corporate America reels in pandemic perks with workers returning to the office

As the Labor Day weekend drew to a close and Goldman Sachs bankers returned to the office on Tuesday for the mandatory return to a five-day in-office workweek, they discovered the free coffee cart in the lobby of the 200 West Street office was missing.

The complimentary “grab and go” coffee station, introduced last year as an incentive to get employees back into the office, has been discontinued, according to the New York Post, as the banking giant eliminates pandemic-era perks.

The Post was told by sources at Goldman Sachs that the management has a far more powerful tool than coffee to get employees back into the office: the threat of termination.

“Another pandemic benefit for junior bankers has died,” a junior Goldman banker told the Post. I’m certain that the partners still do not have to pay for their coffee or anything else in their opulent dining room.

Another blow to entry-level employees
Goldman Sachs is notorious for its aggressive efforts to return employees to the workplace.

Goldman Sachs announced on September 6 that it would eliminate all COVID-19 restrictions and allow anyone to enter the office without a mask, regardless of vaccination or testing status.

Goldman CEO David Solomon previously referred to work from home as a “aberration” and told Fortune, “I just don’t think the way we work in our business is all that different from five years ago, nor will it be five years from now.”

Solomon stated, “The secret sauce of our organization is that we attract thousands of truly exceptional young people who come to Goldman Sachs to learn how to work, create a network of other extraordinary people, and work very hard to serve our clients.”

Goldman desires a return to the status quo prior to the pandemic. Over the past two years, Goldman had halted its annual year-end performance reviews, in which the company infamously fired 5% of its lowest-performing employees; however, Goldman executives have warned that this practice will return by the end of the year.

However, the aggressive return to the previous state of affairs has been met with discontent, particularly from junior bankers. Six overworked first-year bankers reportedly quit together and walked out en masse in late August, with sources telling the New York Post that the atmosphere at the financial giant is “at an all-time toxic high.”

Read more • fortune.com

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