New York City Mayor Eric Adams met with 100 chief executive officers, in an effort 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.”
“Let’s start out with a three-day workweek, to let people see how safe it is to come back to work, then we cycle back into a five-day week,” Adams said.He added, “Now is the time for us to get back.I’m hoping within the next few weeks the CEOs map out a real plan of ‘this is when you need to come back.’”
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.”
Stephen Goldsmith, a former mayor of Indianapolis and deputy mayor of New York City, pointed out, “Anyone working in a city’s downtown can attest that on the rare days they actually venture to the office, the number of closed retailers they see and the absence of the previously familiar restaurant worker who provided them morning coffee or noon lunch service.” Goldsmith added, “When these office workers stay home in large numbers, their previous discretionary spending on food, dry cleaning, supplies and the like disappears from the urban core, as do the jobs of many.”
MORE FOR YOU Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research Why U.S.Talent Shortages Are At A 10-Year High You Probably Need More Friends—Here’s How To Make Them “It’s time to get back to work,” Adams said.“The time frame is now.” The challenge for him is that less than 30% of workers are returning to their offices, according to Kastle Systems , a data security company.It’s not going to be easy for Adams to get people to return.
We are in a blazing hot, tight job market.Companies can’t find enough people to fill their open headcount.
Remote jobs are plentiful, according to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Report .Check any job board and you’ll see “work from home” or “work from anywhere you’d like” opportunities dominating the listings.Many organizations are paying employees the same compensation —whether they continue to reside in New York or decide to leave for a better life in a state with lower taxes, affordable homes, sunny skies and quality public schools that aren’t forced to close down.
Adams’ goal makes sense.There is a big incentive for politicians, landlords, corporate executives and business owners to get commuters to return.
Consider what would happen if workers don’t return to the Big Apple.It could cause a cascade of business closures.Without the throngs of workers commuting into New York, restaurants, bars, gyms, shops and stores may be forced to close down due to the lack of customers.The deserted landscape could create a vacuum in which crime, violence and open drug usage worsens.
This would discourage people who were considering going to the office or tourists coming into town to enjoy a Broadway show and dinner.
The tax revenue will fall, which means that city officials will be forced to cut both public services and municipal workers.With fewer garbage collectors, firefighters, police officers, teachers and hospital personnel, the quality of life would suffer.The prior decisions made by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley telling their employees to return to the office may have also been prompted by a need to save the city from demise.
We’ve already seen an alarming increase in crime and violence in the City.Wall Street executives told younger bankers to return to the office, but they should be vigilant and careful.
Bank of America suggested that bankers, brokers, traders and other personnel should keep a low profile .By avoiding dressing too fancy, wearing expensive jewelry and watches or prominently displaying the bank’s logo, they may go undetected and not catch the eye of a possible assailant.There have been horrendous acts of senseless violence perpetrated in the train stations, as well as the streets of the Big Apple.
If people don’t return en masse, Adams will have to figure out other ways to revitalize the city.If not, it could become a downward cycle of small business closures and growth in crime and violence, making potential returnees reconsider their options and seek out remote roles, so they don’t have to deal with these issues.
On the positive side, New York City has faced serious problems in the past.In 1975, the City was heading toward bankruptcy.When asked for financial assistance, President Gerald Ford declared that he would veto any bill calling for “a federal bail-out of New York City” and instead proposed legislation that would make it easier for the city to go into bankruptcy.Famously, the New York Daily News ran a headline “ Ford to City: Drop Dead in 1975 .” It took a while, but the City ultimately rebounded.
Hopefully, this will happen once again.