How Pret Sandwiches Predict Workplace Changes

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work, leaving many wondering what a return to “normalcy” might be like, especially in an increasingly remote and hybrid era.

Well, the ‘Pret Index’ answers that question.

Each week, the UK-based International Sandwich Shop offers Ready to Eat Bloomberg with data on its sales at business centers around the world, and is already revealing a major development on Wall Street: New York City bankers are far less likely to return to the office than their global counterparts.

Calculated with a January 2020 baseline, the Pret index compares transaction data as of March 8 with this month’s average; each point (.01) in the index means 1% progress to reach these pre-pandemic levels.

Related: 3 trade trends fueled by the pandemic

Seconds Bloomberg‘s Pret Index, Wall Street transactions have remained around 50% for weeks, mostly behind those in London’s City and Canary Wharf districts, where sales have almost returned to normal, and significantly behind those at airports, where sales are 40% higher than pre-pandemic levels as more people travel.

Covid’s latest wave has likely taken into account much of Wall Street’s decision to work from home, but not all banks are on the same page, when it comes to policies. Despite presenting a single front in the past, major players such as Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are now divided, CNN reported, the former allows workers to opt for a hybrid configuration, and the latter requires five days a week in office.

New York is not the only city with a slow return to normalcy: Hong Kong, hard hit by a Covid rise in the spring, has also experienced slight improvements.

Related: Sales tactics to survive the widespread effects of the pandemic

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