NYC offices get creative to lure workers back

Companies offering perks include Goldman Sachs, SL Green and Bloomberg

A photo illustration of SL Green's Marc Holliday (Getty; iStock; SL Green)
A photo illustration of SL Green's Marc Holliday (Getty; iStock; SL Green)

Some New York City companies are offering perks to entice workers back to the office.

Private rooms for children, free lunch and cubicles with plastic shields are just some of the sweeteners being dangled by companies, including office landlord SL Green, the New York Times reported.

Employees allowed to work from home have been reluctant to return to workplaces. But real estate companies, especially those with significant office holdings, have good reason to demonstrate a return to normalcy is possible.

Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, JP Morgan Chase, the New York Stock Exchange and media company Hearst are also offering perks, despite Covid outbreaks in the outer boroughs that led to localized shutdowns earlier this month and fueled an uptick in infection rates and fears of a second wave.

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A survey by the Partnership for New York City, which represents business leaders including office landlords, found that just 10 percent of workers had returned to Manhattan offices as of late October. Real estate companies, which have pushed for a return to offices, have seen 73 percent of their workers return.

Real estate firms depending on the return of office culture realized that optimism alone was not going to cut it. They needed practical measures, too.

“People, I believe, do want to come into work, but they have to know that they get their basics covered,” Marc Holliday, CEO of SL Green, told the Times.

“When you really peel it away, work from home — this concept of everybody isolating at home, and all the inefficiency it brings — is in my mind a very slow cancer that is very silent but growing in this economy.”

[NYT] — Georgia Kromrei