‘If you can go out to eat, you can come back to work’: Morgan Stanley CEO wants NYC staff back in the office full time by Labor Day and anyone who doesn’t return may face a salary cut
- Gorman said on Monday he’ll be ‘very disappointed’ if staff don’t come back voluntarily by Labor Day
- So far, Morgan Stanley hasn’t mandated that anyone has to come back full-time
- That will change if people refuse, he said, and those who have left NYC for cheaper salaries can expect pay cuts if they want to work remotely
- Gorman said the situation in NYC, where all COVID restrictions are about to be lifted, is unlike in India and the UK
- He hasn’t mandated that staff be vaccinated before they return but says 90% of those who have come in are vaccinated
- He said if people refuse to get vaccinated because of health or religious reasons, there’ll be a ‘conversation’ about it
- In NYC & San Francisco, only 21 percent of people have gone back to the office
- Cities in Texas and Florida – Republican states – have been more willing to return
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman (shown in a 2019 photo) said on Monday he expects all New York City staff to return to the office full time by Labor Day
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said on Monday he expects all New York City staff to return to the office full time by Labor Day, and if they don’t they may face salary cuts.
Gorman was speaking at the firm’s annual U.S. Financials, Payments & CRE Conference when he made the remarks, some of the strongest indicators yet of how big business will handle getting their staff back to work in person.
Right now, the bank still isn’t dictating how many days a week staff should come in, but Gorman says that’ll change if people don’t choose to come back themselves by the end of the summer.
‘Make no mistake about it. We do our work inside Morgan Stanley offices, and that’s where we teach, that’s where our interns learn, that’s how we develop people .
‘On Labor Day, I’ll be very disappointed if people haven’t found their way into the office. Then, we’ll have a different kind of conversation.
‘If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office. We want you in the office,’ he said.
He said that 90 percent of the staff who are coming into work are vaccinated and that by Labor Day, he expects the number to be 98 percent. If people don’t want to get vaccinated for health or religious reasons, he says the firm will enter HR discussions with them.
He also warned anyone who has relocated to a cheaper city during the pandemic and wants to keep working remotely from there that they can expect their salaries to be cut.
It’s a strategy other businesses, like Facebook, have also adopted.
‘If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York. None of this, “I’m in Colorado and work in New York and am getting paid like I’m sitting in New York City”. Sorry, that doesn’t work.’
Gorman returned to work four days a week in July. He had COVID-19 last year and recovered. He later partnered with a healthcare firm to give workers’ vaccines in the office.
The JP Morgan building in Times Square normally has thousands of workers but few have returned since March 2020
Gorman said that staff in India, where 10,000 are employed, won’t be expected back in the office this year because the health crisis there is ongoing and the vaccine roll-out is slow.
The same goes for the UK, which is further ahead with vaccines but has seen a spike in cases with the Delta and Indian variants of COVID.
In NYC, 70 percent of people are vaccinated and cases continue to drop; across the state of New York on Saturday, just 0.5 percent of people tested were positive and there were only 158 cases in NYC – just 0.001 percent of the population.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says all public schools will return to a full-time, in person learning schedule in September.
Private schools can decide for themselves which approach to take.
It comes as other white collar sectors report struggles in getting people back to work.
In New York City and San Francisco – two enormous business hubs where the office workforce keeps almost every other part of the local businesses going – only 21 percent have come back to the office.
Cities in Texas, however, have managed to get more people back in.
It may be down to the fact that people in Texan cities use their own cars to get to work more than they rely on public transport, but it could also come down to local restrictions and advice.
Since the start of the pandemic, people in Republican cities and states have been less frightened of going back to work or even staying in the office throughout the pandemic.
California and New York have been among the strictest in imposing lockdowns and rules.