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Microsoft Returns and AmEx Push Back Office




    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and American Express CEO Stephen Squeri (Getty, American Express)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and American Express CEO Stephen Squeri (Getty, American Express)

Two other big companies are delaying office returns amid the booming Delta variant, the latest blow to the office market.

Microsoft was planning to fully reopen its offices on October 4, but was forced to reverse that goal. The company is not setting a new return date, according to Bloomberg, but plans to give 30 days’ notice before the reopening so employees can prepare.

An internal investigation reported by the outlet said the company has no plans to abandon in-person work altogether. Of those surveyed, 8% in non-managerial positions wanted to work in the office every day, better than managers’ forecast of just 1%. However, it is not known when the return will take place.

Bloomberg also reports American Express has delayed the return from its offices for the third time. In June, the company was scheduled to reopen on September 13 as part of a hybrid plan, which was later pushed back to October 11.

Unlike Microsoft, American Express has a new target opening date: January 24. The company employs approximately 22,700 people in the United States.

Businesses across the country as recently as early summer were aiming to get employees back to the office after Labor Day. However, the holidays have passed and the Delta variant has left many offices unoccupied.

Long-term ramifications for the office market in major metropolitan areas remain unclear, although delays in in-person work are likely to be problematic. In addition, some companies are opening the door to permanent teleworking.

The vacancy rate in Manhattan, the nation’s largest office market, was 16.9% in August, just below the record 17.1% set in May and July. Brivo’s anonymized data shows office usage remains low nationwide, at just 62% in Los Angeles, 49% in Chicago and 38% in New York City.

[Bloomberg] Holden Walter Warner




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