CEO Stephen Ross Thinks Recession Will Drive Workers Back to the Office
By: Serach Nissim
Stephen Ross, chairman and majority owner of The Related Companies, said the upcoming United States economic recession may have an upside to it.
As reported by the NY Post, the Billionaire real estate mogul said on Friday that the approaching recession may finally drive employees back to their desks, following the work-from-home craze which was spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ross said the layoffs to come may finally help workers get over their resistance to coming to work in person. “Employers have been somewhat hesitant because they didn’t want to lose their employees, but I think as you go into a recession and people fear that they might not have a job, that will bring people back to the office,” Ross told Bloomberg News.
Large NYC based companies have had mixed results in luring employees back to their desks following the pandemic. In New York, only 41 percent of all office workers were back to working on site as of June 8, as per data from Kastle Systems. Employers at many major banks did their best to accommodate employees with hybrid work weeks, allowing them to stay home a few days a week. Employers were flexible because the labor market was so tight, and they couldn’t afford to lose their employees. Currently, the national unemployment rate is at just 3.6 percent.
Experts, however, predict that the tide will turn in the coming months, and companies will need to start cutting costs and laying off employees. In some sectors, including cryptocurrency and real estate, large companies have already started announcing layoffs. Notable experts– including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers–are forecasting tough economic times in the close future. The Federal Reserve has already started raising interest rates in an effort to fight decades-high inflation. The Fed’s action has ignited market volatility and tighter monetary policies at large banks across the board.
“The employees will recognize as we go into a recession, or as things get a little tighter, that you have to do what it takes to keep your job and to earn a living,” Ross said. He added that in-person collaboration is vital for success in businesses. “Every executive recognizes that people need to work together,” Ross told Bloomberg. “You have to train your workforce and educate them and you work as a team. You don’t work as individuals.”
Mr. Ross, the 82-year-old real estate developer, philanthropist, and the owner of the NFL’s Mami Dolphins has an estimated fortune of $8.2 billion, having doubled his net worth since 2008, as per Forbes. His company, Related Cos., developed the Hudson Yards site in New York City, which boasts 28 acres and 18 million square feet, making it the biggest private development in the country. The company directly employs roughly 2,000 people, and its existing portfolio of real estate assets is worth more than $15 billion. Related also owns Equinox Fitness Clubs, SoulCycle and restaurant chains. Ross is a Republican whose contributions and a past fundraiser for former President Donald Trump sparked serious backlash, with patrons at his gyms boycotting Ross’s companies.