Morgan Stanley CEO: New York Workers Should Return to Office in Fall

The chief executive of Morgan Stanley said at an investing conference this week that all of the company’s New York City employees should return to the office by fall, CNN reports.

“If you can go to a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office. And we want you in the office,” James Gorman, the chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, said during his keynote presentation for the company’s US Financials, Payments & CRE [Commercial Real Estate] Conference on Monday.

“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,” Gorman added, according to The Guardian. “That’s where you build all the soft cues that go with having a successful career that aren’t just about Zoom presentations.”

He noted that many of the company’s employees have begun to return to Morgan Stanley headquarters in Times Square, but said that after this summer, workers will have to resume working in their offices.

“By Labor Day, I’ll be very disappointed if people haven’t found their way into the office and then we’ll have a different kind of conversation,” Gorman said.

“If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York,” he added. “None of this ‘I’m in Colorado … and getting paid like I’m sitting in New York City.’ Sorry. That doesn’t work.”

However, he also noted that this policy may not work for each of the company’s locations, pointing to the 10,000 Morgan Stanley employees in India, which continues to report high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

“They’re not coming back to work,” Gorman said. “That’s not a 2021 issue.”

He added, “I don’t think making a blanket statement to all employees is helpful. I don’t think speaking to employees who work at 1585 Broadway in Times Square is the same as speaking to a small office in Topeka.”

Gorman said that company will still take a flexible approach to employees splitting their work time between the home and office for the time being, noting that many workers who are parents will have to stay at home with their children if they are not in school or camp.

Another major investment bank and financial services firm, Goldman Sachs, recently announced that it was delaying its plans to bring its United Kingdom staff back to the office after the country announced that it was extending Covid-19 restrictions into July despite the company’s group chief executive, David Solomon, recently saying that working from home is “an aberration.”

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