Trends are born, they grow, mature, reach old age and die. The work-from-home trend has just been born.
Go back 17 months ago when politicians and Presstitutes launched the COVID War. Who would have ever forecast that in a blink of a cosmic eye, billions of people across the planet who used to commute to work every day and hated it, would be forced to “shelter-in-place”… and be unable to commute to work.
Indeed, one of the results of the COVID-19 lockdowns, both positive and negative, has been the revelation that many office workers now believe there is no need to physically report to an actual office in order to perform their work; if your work consists of sitting in front of a computer, that computer can be in your home or just about anywhere.
From Skype to Zoom, the work-from-home trend persists even as lockdowns and other COVID War protocols begin to fade into the past. Even a complete “return to normalcy” may not manifest in office workers flocking back to their cubicles, and the high rate of unused, unoccupied and unneeded office space is taking a toll, and creating shake-ups, in the commercial real estate market. We went into detail on this in our article of 5 January 2021, “TRENDS IN REAL ESTATE,” as well as in numerous other real estate articles in the Trends Journal.
And office buildings turning into ghost towns spells financial disaster for businesses that cater to office workers; such businesses, be they restaurants, delis, bars, florists, barbershops, newsstands, specialty shops and so on are among the unsung casualties of COVID-19.
Get Back to Work
But some companies are bucking the work-at-home trend. An article in the Financial Times of 16 June 2021 reports that the CEO of Morgan Stanley has issued a strongly worded suggestion that employees at the bank’s global headquarters near Manhattan’s Times Square should find their way back to their desks in the building by Labor Day.
“If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York,” James Gorman told his NYC workforce. Another NYC-based investment banking giant, Goldman Sachs, had informed its workers they would be required to return to their offices. This represents quite a departure from May 2020, when our article “THE NEW LIFE OF LOCKDOWN” reported that executives of Morgan Stanley, among others, thought it “highly unlikely that all of their now at-home workers will return to the city’s office towers.”
The article informs us that some 90 percent of Morgan Stanley’s NYC office employees have already been vaccinated, and Gorman, who survived his own bout with COVID-19 in March 2020, expects that figure to rise to 98 percent. But there was no mention of whether vaccination would be a condition of returning to the office or of continued employment. If it were, it wouldn’t be the first “No Vax, No Job” policy; see our article of 1 June, “NO JAB, NO JOB.”
TREND FORECAST: At the end of May only 12 percent of New York City workers had returned to their offices, about the same number as in the Fall of 2020.
Thus, we note the quotes by Morgan Stanly’s Mr. Gorman to illustrate, as we have been in previous Trends Journal articles that it is the Bankster Gang, such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, BlackRock etc., who are the most vocal in pushing workers to return to offices because they hold billions of dollars in debt and/or own commercial real estate.
The Partnership for New York City study concludes that just 62 percent of office workers will return to their offices and at best, just three days a week. And, according to a study by the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School, if just 10 percent of workers don’t return to the office in Manhattan, that adds up to some 100,000 people that won’t be supporting the businesses that rely on commuter traffic.
Thus, we maintain our forecast for a commercial real estate bust in many large cities around the world as the work-at-home trend becomes part of 21st century life.