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Wall Street Sees 61% of Workers Returning to Office by September

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 6/7/2021 Jenny Surane
a group of people walking on a city street: A Day in the Life of Wall Street as New York’s Return Begins © Bloomberg A Day in the Life of Wall Street as New York’s Return Begins

(Bloomberg) -- Wall Street is getting more optimistic about persuading workers to come back to the office.

Employers in the financial-services industry expect 61% of staff to be back by the end of September, up from 50% in March, according to a survey by the Partnership for New York City. About 14% of finance workers have already made their way back, the second-highest occupancy among industries surveyed, but still well behind real estate at 70%.

Wall Street’s biggest employers have begun to debut plans for cajoling their staff back to the office more than a year after the pandemic forced them to send workers home in droves. Bank of America Corp. has encouraged top managers in New York to begin returning to the office, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has told workers to plan to start coming in next week.

For office workers overall, 62% of all employees are expected to return to the workplace in September, compared with 45% in a survey taken in March, the Partnership said Monday in a statement.

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“Findings are decidedly more optimistic than previous surveys conducted over the past year,” it said, “reflecting the impact of relatively rapid vaccination rates.”

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Only 27 of the 180 companies surveyed by the Partnership plan to require workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before they make their return, though others still plan to encourage workers to get their shots. More than a third of employers said vaccination rates remain employees’ primary concern when it comes to returning.

Some office workers remain wary of the subway and other forms of public transit, with some employers noting that there are specific concerns about the safety of hubs such as Grand Central and Penn Station. Others said their employees are concerned about returning in light of the recent increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

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