DBS joins JPMorgan, Barclays to endorse benefits of office work

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People talk next to a DBS logo at a DBS function in Singapore July 5, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su (SINGAPORE - Tags: BUSINESS LOGO)
DBS Group Holdings' CEO Piyush Gupta said employees need to sometimes work from the office to develop a firm’s identity. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

By Chanyaporn Chanjaroen and Haslinda Amin

(Bloomberg) —DBS Group Holdings Ltd.’s Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta said employees need to sometimes work from the office to develop a firm’s identity.

“You need to build the soul of the company, and it’s very hard to do that if everybody is always working from somewhere else,” Gupta, who runs Southeast Asia’s largest bank, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “So you need to bring people in from time to time.”

Gupta’s comments on the benefits of working from the office echo remarks from global counterparts including JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon, who has said that working remotely for too long could decrease productivity and Barclays Plc CEO Jes Staley who expects his largely homebound bankers to return to their offices this year.

DBS in November said all of its employees would be granted the flexibility to work remotely as much as 40% of the time to address the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The bank found that more than four in five of its 29,000 staff were able to work seamlessly remotely, it said at the time.

Still, Gupta said that companies are stronger when staff are also office based.

“At the end of the day, if you want to be a company, you need alignment of purpose, alignment of intent, you need a common culture,” he said.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.