Young people will see their careers benefit by working in the office, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has said.
He told LinkedIn News he doubted he would have done as well if he had started his working life virtually. Mr. Sunak worked in finance, including at banking giant Goldman Sachs.
He said he still talked to his early mentors, saying: “I doubt I would have had those strong relationships if I was doing my summer internship or my first bit of my career over Teams and Zoom.”
“That’s why I think for young people, in particular, being able to physically be in an office is valuable,” he added. The government has recommended a gradual return to work in England since restrictions were lifted on 19 July. However, the Scottish government wants people to keep working at home until at least 9 August, where possible.
Bankers have been among the keenest businesses to encourage staff back into the office after many professionals were forced to work from home by the Covid pandemic. Mr. Sunak said: “I’ve spoken previously about young people, in particular, benefiting from being in offices: it was really beneficial to me when I was starting out in my career.
“The mentors that I found when I first started my job, I still talk to and they’ve been helpful to me all through my career even after we’ve gone in different ways.” Another former Goldman Sachs banker, Xavier Rolet, who has been in the news this week for telling the younger generation of bankers to stop complaining about long working hours, said technology now had a bigger role to play in working relationships than pre-pandemic.
“We’re never going to go back to exactly the way we were before,” Mr. Rolet, who ran the London Stock Exchange for eight years, told the BBC.
“But the chancellor also has a point, which is that human interaction, besides the new technological tools, is also important.
“So I think we’re going to end up with a blended approach. Yes, by any means get back into the office, but do not underestimate the power of technology.”