Finance

Goldman Sachs responded to burnout fears in its consumer division by making evenings and Fridays ‘audio only,’ encouraging staff to go for walks and talk on the phone instead

Summary List PlacementGoldman Sachs is taking steps to combat Zoom fatigue and other measures of burnout among its staff, Insider has learned.  The bank's consumer division recently introduced "audio only" times for internal meetings on weekdays after 6 p.m. and all day Friday, according to a memo seen by Insider. The memo said it wasn't instituting a rule, but merely giving a strong suggestion. In cases where a video call is necessary or helpful, for presentations or external meetings or interviews, for example, employees should feel free to ignore the suggestion, the memo said. "Remember that thing called a phone call?" the...

Stephanie Cohen

Summary List Placement

Goldman Sachs is taking steps to combat Zoom fatigue and other measures of burnout among its staff, Insider has learned. 

The bank’s consumer division recently introduced “audio only” times for internal meetings on weekdays after 6 p.m. and all day Friday, according to a memo seen by Insider.

The memo said it wasn’t instituting a rule, but merely giving a strong suggestion. In cases where a video call is necessary or helpful, for presentations or external meetings or interviews, for example, employees should feel free to ignore the suggestion, the memo said.

“Remember that thing called a phone call?” the memo said. “Zoom has been great to connect with colleagues across the globe in ways that previously weren’t possible with only a call. We don’t want to lose this connectivity, but we also recognize that Zoom fatigue is real.”

To help employees with some ideas of how to incorporate audio only times into their day, the memo outlined four examples of how to use it.

Their suggestions: set recurring calendar reminders for the “audio only” times, call  your manager on their cellphone and take a walk outside while you catch up, change your Friday meetings to conference calls, and — in cases where employees are still using Zoom — add a note to the invitation to make it clear it’s just an audio call. 

Goldman is taking steps to combat burn out among its consumer-banking staff as Marcus staffers quit in the wake of a series of ambitious product announcements over the past year.

As Insider reported earlier on Wednesday, simultaneous product sprints wore out employees during the coronavirus pandemic, when they were already feeling an erosion of work-life balance, all while Goldman’s top-down management style infiltrated a unit deliberately set up to avoid Wall Street hierarchies. Nearly every significant leader in the business walked out the door.

New consumer and wealth management leaders Stephanie Cohen and Tucker York are trying to address the cultural breakdown and stabilize the engineering ranks. The memo was unsigned, but sent from an email address with the name of DigitalFinanceMgmt. Here’s the full text of the memo, as viewed by Insider: 

March 26, 2021

Consumer Audio Only Times

Remember that thing called a phone call? Zoom has been great to connect with colleagues across the globe in ways that previously weren’t possible with only a call. We don’t want to lose this connectivity, but we also recognize that Zoom fatigue is real.

To find the right balance between video and audio calls, we’re rolling out “Audio Only” times for internal meetings on weekdays after 6:00 p.m. (in your local time zone) and all day on Fridays.

These are not hard and fast rules. We recognize the team is spread out across times zones and there are instances where you want to — or need to — use your video (e.g., interviews, external meetings, cross-divisional meetings, presentations, townhalls, etc.). Do what works best for you and remember to be considerate about your colleagues in other locations.

If you need a little inspiration on how to start turning your video off, check out these tips:

· Set a recurring calendar reminder on the “Audio Only” times

· Call your manager’s cell during a catch up and take a walk outside

· Change your Friday meetings to conference lines where possible

· If you’re still using Zoom, put a note in the invite that it’s an audio only call

 

Please reach out to Consumer Management with any questions.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Sarah McBride made history becoming the first openly trans person elected to a state Senate seat. In 2018, she explained why the Trump administration wouldn’t discourage her work.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: