Offices Are Here To Stay, Critical To Bottom Line

New survey of New York City executives reveals the c-suite is prioritizing workplace health, enhanced office cleaning.

While a majority of New York City companies are currently remote, 76 percent of C-suite executives say in-person work is critical to their company’s bottom line and revenue, according to a new survey by the Cleaning Coalition of America.

Obstacles still remain for a full return to the office, with over two-thirds of C-suite executives saying their employees have expressed concern that in-person work could pose a health and safety risk. In return, senior leaders are embracing enhanced cleaning of the workplace (75%) and installing hand sanitizer stations (77%). Business leaders are also offering subsidies for childcare costs, transportation vouchers, and monetary incentives.

in-person work
(Photo: Adobe Stock by Svitlana)

“The pandemic required New York businesses to fundamentally rethink their operations and the value placed on workplace health and safety,” said Paul Budsworth, President – North America, Diversey Holdings. “Understanding how New York City’s executives are planning for the future is crucial for our industry to be the most effective partner moving forward.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic created more awareness of the value of workplace cleaning,” said Stanley Doobin, Owner and CEO of Harvard Maintenance. “In this post-pandemic era, increased cleaning and disinfection must be the new standard for any shared space.”

From March 16-29 – two years since the closure of non-essential businesses – the survey polled 258 C-suite executives from companies representing a broad range of industries and company sizes to understand key learnings from the public health crisis, plans for a post-pandemic future, and their perception of New York City and New York State’s pandemic response.

The survey found that New York City business leaders are broadly supportive of the local administration’s pandemic response, but want to see stricter measures going forward. In fact, 75 percent of New York City business leaders report feeling “satisfied” with how elected officials navigated the pandemic and the policies put in place – citing “Key to NYC” and the State’s HERO ACT as beneficial to their respective businesses. If faced with a future public health crisis, 63 percent of C-suite level executives will turn to local elected officials first for guidance, followed by public health officials, external consultants, and the business community.

“As we look to develop future public health plans, it is important to learn from the past and understand how various policies and measures impacted businesses,” said Josh Feinberg, President of the Cleaning Coalition of America. “The Coalition is committed to serving as a bridge between the business community and policymakers to ensure safe and healthy workplaces – not just now, but in the future.”

Moving forward, executives are not leaving anything to chance. In fact, 80 percent have developed a pandemic response plan. Still, in the event of a future public health emergency, New York City executives would like to see better protection of frontline workers – including priority access to PPE and vaccinations.

In-Person Work Still Matters

While many businesses have changed their office space during the pandemic, senior leaders say the in-person workplace is critical to their company’s bottom-line.

  •      68% of businesses have moved their office location during the pandemic.
  •      76% say that the in-person workplace is essential to their company’s bottom-line and revenue.

Business leaders are prioritizing enhanced cleaning to keep the workplace safe and incentivize a return to the office.

  •      75% say cleaning is the number one incentive to return to the office.
  •      20% cited cleaning as the most important business learning from the pandemic, followed by improving technology (17%) and the benefits of remote work (15%).

C-suite executives are broadly supportive of New York’s pandemic response.

  •      75% of executives say they are satisfied with the local government’s pandemic response.
  •      63% of C-suite leaders will turn to local elected officials first for guidance, followed by public health officials (57%).

New York executives have prepared their own pandemic response plans, but want to see stricter and more proactive enforcement of public health measures during future public health crises.

  •      80% of business leaders have developed future pandemic response plans.
  •      25% of executives support stricter measures and enforcement of current pandemic restrictions.
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