Aug 6, 2021 - Business

It's wait-and-see for Twin Cities office workers

A photo of the exterior of a Wells Fargo office building.

Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank are delaying their return to office dates. Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Twin Cities companies used pencil when they circled Sept. 7 as their return-to-office date.

Driving the news: With the Delta variant spreading, two of the metro’s largest employers of office workers — U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo — delayed their decisions to call back most of their employees in September.

  • Eagan-based Prime Therapeutics had been planning to bring workers back to the office Aug. 2, but has pushed that date to Sept. 7, said company spokeswoman Karen Lyons.

Why it matters: Retailers, restaurants and hotels that thrive off downtown offices have been eagerly awaiting workers' return after 17 months without much commerce.

  • But going back into the office can also be a major lift for some employees, including those who have to arrange care for children or other family members.

State of play: Only about a third of the roughly 200,000 downtown Minneapolis workers are back in the office, according to the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

  • No other large Twin Cities employers have publicly announced a similar delay, but that could change if other companies follow U.S. Bank's lead.
  • "We'll know more in the next week or 10 days about whether U.S. Bank is setting a trend ... or if this is something that may not be widespread," Minneapolis Downtown Council CEO Steve Cramer told Nick.

Of note: The Delta variant is also making companies rethink rules for when workers do return.

  • "At this point, when we do return to the office, our plan is to require employees to wear a masks indoors regardless of vaccination status," said Lyons.  

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