Goldman Sachs Asks US Employees to Work From Home as Omicron Surges

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Goldman Sachs, one of Wall Street’s strongest advocates of returning its staff to offices, is asking eligible U.S. staff to work from home until Jan. 18 as the omicron variant spikes nationwide. The financial firm has over 43,000 employees, many of which are based in its Manhattan headquarters at 200 West Street.

Goldman’s offices will continue to operate with previously announced COVID-19 safety protocols that include vaccine and booster requirements for all eligible populations effective Feb. 1, bi-weekly testing effective Jan. 10, and mandatory masks in offices, according to a Goldman spokesperson.

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The big turnaround followed a similar stance from most of Goldman’s banking peers, including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. Major financial firms are adopting a more cautious stand as the omicron variant spreads rapidly across the U.S., pushing back their long awaited return-to-office and encouraging employees to continue working from home in the new year. 

For the first time in the pandemic, the country is breaking an average of more than 300,000 new cases a day. As a city with over 332,100 people working in the financial sector, New York may have to ramp up its vaccine efforts while staff trickles back to work. Eric Adams, the newly sworn-in mayor, stated he would maintain the vaccine mandate his predecessor ruled out for private employers. 

Elsewhere in Gotham, Apple started allowing some shoppers back into its New York City stores — just hours after the tech giant had barred all in-person shoppers, sparking a backlash on social media. In reaction, Apple’s New York locations — including its Fifth Avenue, SoHo, and World Trade Center flagships — are currently reopened for “limited” walk-in shopping and repair services, according to the company’s site. 

An Apple representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Emily Fu can be reached at: EFu@commercialobserver.com