Working from home: The unwelcome bank CEO Zoom bomb!


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Forget cashless banking and the shift to digital, what coronavirus really seems to have accelerated is the alarming desire of many investment banks to become less vampire squid and more friendly dolphin.

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Efforts made to support employee wellbeing must always be encouraged, and many banks – and indeed Euromoney management itself – have fallen over themselves to run 'virtual huddles' and video conference calls to provide updates on corporate developments since staff scattered to work remotely earlier this year.

But while the intrusion of the working world into the domestic sphere is an inevitable consequence of office closures, the unexpected arrival of one’s boss is surely a step too far.

To ensure those working from home still feel loved by their employer, some banks may be overdoing it. Stories of senior management hosting virtual chat shows and singing to employees abound, but may be excusable as efforts to foster a connection with workers who may feel isolated at home.

There is one alarming trend, however, that Euromoney cannot get behind: the CEO 'Zoom-bomb thank you'.

In our recent awards deliberations, at least one bank pitched this practice – whereby bank CEOs drop in unannounced to virtually check in on random employees – as a force for good. 

We can’t agree. We’ve got over the idea that everyone is likely to still be in their pyjamas, but there is every likelihood that they will also be dealing with sick-covered children, family arguments and filthy kitchens.

It’s the digital equivalent of being caught in the lift with a stonking hangover by your CEO/chairman/member of the board/ex-lover: an encounter that will leave both parties feeling slightly awkward and at least one sweating profusely. 

It may be less excruciating online, but it is probably just as unwelcome.