Will companies open back up after Labor Day? Business executives reveal their plans

By Arianne Cohen

Numerous U.S. businesses had planned to reopen their workplaces after Labor Day, but those plans appear to have fallen apart as uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic remains.

A new poll of C-suite executives by the Conference Board finds that over one-third of executives and managers don’t know when their companies will reopen. The rates of uncertainty are staggeringly high in some cities, approaching nearly half in Miami; Seattle; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco.

Of those on a return-to-the-office schedule:

    14% plan to open in September

    8% plan to reopen by the end of the year

    16% plan to open in Q1 of 2021

A mere 13% of companies have remained open throughout the pandemic. Notably, just 3% plan to remain remote permanently.

The survey reached 1,100 business people across 20 metropolitan regions. It also found that just 5% of executives are tying their workplace return timing to the availability of a vaccine. This “likely reflects concern about the viability of a vaccine” and about “the legal implications for any corporate mandate to get the vaccine as a condition for returning,” says the survey report.


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