Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and other New York companies are asking workers to return by February

Wall Street employers are again telling New York workers to prepare for in-person work – with most setting February return dates – after companies like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase delayed their initial plans when the Omicron’s push rocked the Big Apple last month.

New York City, like the rest of the country, has seen COVID-19 cases drop over the past two weeks. The Big Apple reported a 70% drop in the average number of cases, from 40,150 on January 10 to 12,012 on Monday, according to the New York Times. That’s a nearly 50% drop from the 24,906 cases reported a week ago.

With the light at the end of the tunnel in sight, the Wall Street giants began announcing new return dates for employees. Citigroup has told its metro area staff to be prepared to return to the office at least two days a week starting Feb. 7, a person familiar with the policy told The New York Times.

Citigroup has not released any information on return dates for the rest of its offices and its employees in other parts of the United States will still be asked to work remotely, according to the source.

Major employers in New York are setting February dates for staff to return to in-person work as COVID-19 cases continue to decline. Above, pedestrians walk past a seemingly deserted Goldman Sachs building in lower Manhattan on January 18

Citigroup and BNP Paribas have both set return dates for February 7, while Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have both set return dates for February 1.  Above, a man walks past a JPMorgan Chase bank in Manhattan on January 13

Citigroup and BNP Paribas have both set return dates for February 7, while Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have both set return dates for February 1. Above, a man walks past a JPMorgan Chase bank in Manhattan on January 13

COVID-19 cases have plummeted across the country in the past two weeks

COVID-19 cases have plummeted across the country in the past two weeks

NYC has seen a 70% drop in the average number of COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, from 40,150 on January 10 to 12,012 on Monday

NYC has seen a 70% drop in the average number of COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, from 40,150 on January 10 to 12,012 on Monday

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have told employees to return to the office from February 1, after both delayed returning before the holidays when COVID-19 cases were out of control before the holidays. Goldman Sachs was planning a January 14 return date before making the switch.

Ahead of Citibank’s return date, it will also deliver on its promise to lay off all employees who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-January.

Citigroup said earlier this month that U.S. employees who had not been vaccinated by Jan. 14 would be placed on unpaid leave and terminated at the end of the month unless granted an exemption and ‘a layout.

BNP Paribas has set the same return date of Feb. 7 for all US staff after delaying in-person work plans by about a month due to the Omicron surge.

The retail banking firm, which employs around 14,000 people in the US, will expect US staff to work at least one day a week, similar to its policy from late last year. before the Omicron variant swept the country.

“With what happened with Omicron, we wanted to go back to a more conservative mode, so we only have people in the office if there is a critical need for them,” said Kevin Abraszek, chief change officer and of the transformation of the company’s human resources. in New York, Reuters told Friday.

Employees must be vaccinated to work in the office, but Abraszek said those who were not vaccinated would be allowed to continue working from home. “I think we will continue to review this decision and this policy early this year,” he said.

Abraszek said the company plans to fill the office at half capacity after its February return date.

“We were generally around 25% to 30% at the end of last year,” he said. “We’ll probably get to that level and hopefully over the spring, and certainly over the summer, we’ll get closer to that 50 per cent.”

Abraszek’s estimate is higher than that of most New York companies, as only 16% of large employers said they currently have daily footfall of 50% or more and an additional 7% said they expect in-person attendance crosses that threshold by the end of this month. .

About 75% of major New York employers, including Citigroup (whose offices are pictured above), had to delay their plans to return to in-person work due to the Omicron variant, according to a new survey

About 75% of major New York employers, including Citigroup (whose offices are pictured above), had to delay their plans to return to in-person work due to the Omicron variant, according to a new survey

The employers were interviewed by the Partnership for New York City, a business advocacy group, between Jan. 10 and 18. About a quarter of those surveyed said they could not estimate when their in-person attendance would reach half capacity. The remaining nearly 50% surveyed said they expect to reach half capacity sometime between spring and early 2023.

The survey also found that 75% of employers delayed their planned return to the office due to the Omicron variant’s grip on the city.

Meanwhile, Covid cases across the country are also seeing the same downward decline as the Big Apple. Dr. Anthony Fauci said on ABC’s This Week Sunday that Omicron cases will likely start to drop across the country by mid-February, with the hardest-hit cities seeing an infection rate drop of up to 64. %.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert has said the United States will likely start to “see a turnaround” in cases and hospitalizations as the highly contagious variant begins to slow – and may signal a gradual return to the normal.

‘We’re hoping that over the next few weeks or months we’ll see across the country, the level of infection drop below what I call the ‘zone of control,’ the renowned COVID expert said from the White House to ABC This Week on Sunday.

Dr Anthony Fauci said during an appearance on ABC's This Week that most US states could peak by mid-February

Dr Anthony Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’s This Week that most US states could peak by mid-February

“Control means you don’t eliminate it, you don’t eradicate it, but it goes down to such a low level that it’s basically integrated into the general respiratory infections that we’ve learned to live with.”

In New York – where parts of the state were crippled by Omicron last month – cases fell 58% in a fortnight and 82% week-over-week, according to University data. Johns Hopkins.

The Empire State fell from 79,777 cases on Jan. 9 to 27,643 cases on Saturday, representing a 54% decline over the past two weeks, according to New York Times data.

Virus-related deaths have increased by 71% in the past two weeks; more than 62,600 New Yorkers have died from Covid since the pandemic began.

Fauci said while the numbers are moving in the right direction for most of the nation, the situation varies from state to state. He again urged Americans to get vaccinated and wear masks indoors, calling the measures the best lines of defense against the variant.

“Things are looking good,” he said. “We don’t want to be overconfident, but they seem to be going in the right direction at the moment.”

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