Offices Shut and Holiday Parties Dim as a Familiar Feeling Sinks In

Employers mandate boosters, postpone return dates and brace for an Omicron surge.

New York Times

By Emma Goldberg and Lananh Nguyen
Photo: Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

It was three words that workers don’t hear every day from their bosses: “I was wrong.”

Morgan Stanley’s chief executive, James Gorman, asked this week about employees returning to the office, said his projection about the pandemic subsiding was off. “I thought we would have been out of it past Labor Day,” Mr. Gorman said on CNBC. “And we’re not.”

Office workers this week watched as events unfolded that were at once familiar and jarring in their persistence: Covid case counts ballooned, and employer plans deflated. The United States is reporting an average of more than 120,000 new Covid cases each day, up 40 percent from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times database. New York City is experiencing a spike in cases larger than any since last winter. Employers that had been growing bolder in their plans — reopening offices, mandating or strongly suggesting that workers report back, promising holiday blowouts — are now scaling back their ambitions for in-person business and socializing.

Publish : 2021-12-17 22:18:00

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