Morgan Stanley CEO 'Disappointed' If Most Workers Aren't In NYC Office After Labor Day
The big banks’ return to office plans are starting to fall into place, and Morgan Stanley’s CEO has made it clear he favors the traditional office over any hybrid or remote workplace arrangements.
"If you want to get paid in New York, you need to be in New York," James Gorman said at a virtual conference with investors and analysts, according to multiple reports. “If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into an office.”
Gorman said he expects employees to be back after Labor Day, and said he would be “very disappointed” if they weren't. Further, he said he would “take a dim view of employees who did not work regularly in the office.”
Right now, few workers are back in the city, with just 12% of Manhattan employees back at the office, a small jump from 10% back in March per a Partnership of New York survey released this month. However, the total share of office-based employees expected to return by the end of September is now at 62% — a 37% increase from estimates in March. Still, it appears that a hybrid work schedule is going to be a fixture in the workplace of the future. Most companies the Partnership surveyed said three days a week would likely be the requirement for workers to be at their desks.
So far, workers are reluctant to return, with occupancy down in major offices around the country. On average, 31% of office employees are back at workspaces, per The Wall Street Journal, citing data from Kastle Systems, a security company that tracks access-card swipes around the U.S. In New York, that number was just above 20% in the first week of June, according to Kastle Systems.
The all-important financial services companies are starting to set mandates for their employees’ working arrangements — and companies’ approaches are varying widely. Goldman Sachs has begun requiring almost all employees to be back at work in its Financial District headquarters, while Citigroup has not set its return until July and will be employing a hybrid schedule permanently.
JPMorgan Chase, the world's largest financial institution, has set a 50% capacity cap at its headquarters on Madison Avenue, though employees will be returning next month, Bloomberg reports.
“There’s a little drumbeat that says we’re in a moment of opportunity," CBRE Tri-State CEO Mary Ann Tighe said on Bisnow’s podcast last week. "[There are] many stories we recount to each other to cheer us on."
Even though hybrid work schedules are getting widely introduced, she said many companies will have requirements for workers to be in on certain days of the week.
“Predictions of the office's demise were premature and, frankly, ridiculous,” Tighe said.