William D. Cohan, a 61-year-old former investment banker and professional “guy you wonder why they’re writing instead of doing the job they write about,” authored yet another New York Times op-ed about why remote work is bad. Cohan, a guy who (and I quote) “was far from God’s gift to the profession” and a “special correspondet” for Vanity Fair (spelling his), justifies the return to the office for Wall Street bankers and traders based on a great deal of stuff from the 90s.
50% of his half-assed office propaganda is spent listing the things he’s done in the past, and the rest is the kind of soft, baseless anecdotes you’d expect - including stuff like “[Goldman Sachs] executives decided, correctly, that the benefits of in-person collaboration outweighed the potential health risks,” with no further investigation of what those benefits are. His strongest attempt at defining why it is we should be at the office comes in probably one of the more confusing paragraphs I’ve read that I didn’t write:
By watching my mentors press an advantage or bluff an opponent, I absorbed their deal-making wisdom. There is simply no way that an endless series of video chats could have replaced the lessons I learned darting in and out of the offices of these men and women in Rockefeller Center or at 270 Park Avenue as I was making my way up the investment-banking ladder. (Let’s face it: You can’t suck up on a Zoom call.)