Deutsche Bank's grads set to work in office full time despite hybrid policy

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A view of Deutsche Bank AG New York Headquarters on Wall Street in New York City. Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay more than $130 million to settle criminal and civil charges resulting the Federal government's investigation into bribery of foreign officials and manipulated the market for precious-metals futures through a trading tactic known as spoofing. Deutsche Bank AG is still under investigation by New York State for its dealing with Trump Organization. (Photo by Ron Adar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
The banking industry is notorious for overworking new grads, with regular reports of 100-hour working weeks par for the course. Photo: Ron Adar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Deutsche Bank's (DB) UK and Ireland CEO has said that she would like to see investment banking grads work five days a week from the office, despite the fact that the company has adopted what it calls a hybrid working model. 

In an interview with Business Insider Tiina Lee said she thinks grads should want to spend as much time in the office as they possibly can. Although it will not be mandatory, the implication is it would be expected by top brass. 

Three weeks ago the bank's boss, Christian Sewing, signed off hybrid working arrangements in an internal memo to staff, detailing how Deutsche will return to the office once COVID-19 restrictions ease.

“We need to find the right balance which will make all of us together more efficient and effective,” the memo said.

“To support new ways of working we will make targeted investments in our real estate and upgrade our digital infrastructure to facilitate increased collaboration.”

One reason Lee gave for grads being in the office more was that they would benefit from mentorship in person as well as from the direct oversight of their seniors. 

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The banking industry is notorious for overworking new grads, with regular reports of 100-hour working weeks par for the course. 

In March, documents leaked from Goldman Sachs (GS) showed in a "Working Conditions Survey" complaints from analysts of worsening mental and physical health, 100-hour work weeks, "workplace abuse" from management, and poorer relationships with friends and family.

The presentation was based on a survey of 13 first-year analysts, one of the most junior official roles in the bank. Analysts who took the survey were averaging just 5 hours sleep a night. Respondents had worked an average of 108-hours in the week the survey was done — equivalent to working 9am to midnight Monday to Sunday.

CNBC reported that the presentation was drawn up by junior bankers themselves to highlight their issues.

Goldman Sachs acknowledged the leak at the time and said the conditions were linked to surging business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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