(Bloomberg) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams told leaders of the city’s major companies that it is time to get their employees back into offices, stressing that vacant buildings are reeling from the city’s pandemic.
“We can’t send mixed messages,” Adams said of the various major banks and tech companies that continue to delay withdrawal dates. “We can’t keep kicking cans down the road.”
The mayor said he met with 100 CEOs this week, as part of scheduled meetings his office has with both small businesses and corporations in the city. He used the meeting to persuade him to participate in the expansion of his summer youth jobs and to get his employees back into office to stimulate the city’s economy.
“It’s time for us to come back,” Adams said at a news conference for his first budget presentation. “I’m hoping that within the next few weeks the CEO will come up with a realistic plan of ‘this is when you need to come back’.”
Due to the highly permeable omicron type, the winter surge in COVID-19 cases has hindered the slow return to offices. That progress had jumped to more than 35% in December and then dropped to more than 10% in January, the mayor said, as the city reached an average of seven days of cases at the peak of its epidemic.
Since then the virus has slowed down and the current seven-day average of positive cases in the city is around 1,100. Citigroup employees in the New York City area were told last week to prepare to return to the office, while Wells Fargo & Company said it plans to bring employees back to the office in mid-March.
Still only 28% of employees are swiping in offices in the New York metro area, according to February data from security company Custel Systems. 9. Adams said, “It’s time to get back to work.” “The deadline is now. I’m going to work.”
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