Wall Streeters Are Returning To Work In New York City

 New York City has seen a gradual increase in office occupancy, having restored nearly 80% of its pre-pandemic rate, as per research conducted by Placer.ai, a platform specializing in location intelligence and foot traffic insights.

### Driving Factors Behind the Resurgence

- The resurgence in office occupancy has primarily been fueled by major Wall Street firms, who have been actively encouraging their employees to return to the office, according to the report.

### Challenges of Virtual Operations

- JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon voiced skepticism about operating virtually during the pandemic, highlighting the challenges faced in replicating the apprenticeship model virtually, essential for professional development.

### Concerns about Remote Work

- Dimon expressed concerns about the drawbacks of relying too heavily on virtual platforms like Zoom, stating that it could undermine the company's character and culture over time.

- He also mentioned that excessive dependence on Zoom meetings could lead to slower decision-making processes and inhibit spontaneous learning and creativity that usually arise from face-to-face interactions.

### Goldman Sachs' Stance on Remote Work

- Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon emphasized that remote work is not ideal for their business model, which thrives on an innovative and collaborative apprenticeship culture.

- Solomon described the current remote work situation as an aberration that they are keen to correct swiftly, reverting back to their established work practices as soon as possible.  

Return-To-Office Insights

The return to office has been uneven across industries, according to data from the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit organization whose members are top business leaders and companies that employ more than 1 million New Yorkers. The sectors with below-average in-office attendance rates include tech (53%), media (52%) and accounting (42%).

A September 2023 survey of employers by the Partnership revealed that office attendance in New York City increased among larger firms. Additionally, a hybrid work model remained the most widely adopted office policy.

Additional Employer Survey Findings

  • Sixty-four percent of companies operated on a hybrid schedule in 2023, while 27% of employers had a combination of roles that were hybrid, remote, and in-office five days a week. Only 9% of companies enforced daily attendance.
  • Among employers that implemented a hybrid model, around half (52%) required employees to work onsite a specified number of days per week or month. Forty percent required workers to be in the office on designated days. The remainder of employers offered flexibility and gave employees the autonomy to decide when to come into the office without enforcing an attendance threshold (7%) or only mandating they show up for certain events like client meetings (1%).
  • New York City jobs that commonly require full-time, in-office attendance include facilities and office management, security personnel, corporate support, senior executive roles, and positions that pose security risks if performed offsite.
  • Occupations that were commonly designated as fully virtual include those in call centers, customer service and support, information technology, and project management.

The RTO Debate

In a July 2023 survey by management consulting firm McKinsey on hybrid work, respondents were asked to provide their top reasons for working in the office and at home.

My top reasons for working in the office included: working with my team (20%), complying with my employer’s policy (12%), increasing my productivity (11%), meeting my clients (10%), and to better access tools and technologies (9%).

My top reasons for working at home included: saving commuting time (20%), increasing my productivity (11%), saving money (9%), increasing social time with family (8%), and working in a more pleasant space (7%).

New York City Mayor Eric Adams met with 100 chief executive officers in 2022, to cajole them “to get their workers back into the office to stimulate the city’s economy.”

He told the business leaders it was time to get their workers back in offices, stating that the lack of people commuting into the Big Apple hurts the city’s economy. The mayor said, “We can’t send mixed messages,” by delaying the return to work dates. “We can’t keep kicking the can down the road.”

Adams explained his thought process. The local economy depends upon people coming into New York. "That accountant from a bank that sits in an office, it's not only him. It feeds our financial ecosystem. He goes to the cleaners to get his suits cleaned. He goes to the restaurant. He brings in a business traveler, which is 70% of our hotel occupancy. He buys a hot dog on our streets—I hope a vegan hot dog—but he participates in the economy."

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post