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Nasdaq Staff’s Office Return Is Likely to Be Voluntary for Now

Lananh Nguyen

(Bloomberg) -- Nasdaq Inc. staff’s return to the office will probably be voluntary for the foreseeable future, Chief Executive Officer Adena Friedman said.

The exchange operator surveyed employees about how comfortable they’d be with coming back, under certain conditions, and the vast majority said they’d prefer to keep working from home and wait to see how the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic progresses.

“We have the luxury of patience -- we have the ability to work from home very effectively,” Friedman said Tuesday in a Bloomberg Television interview with David Rubenstein, co-founder of Carlyle Group Inc. “We will ask people if they want to come back voluntarily, and if they feel they can do it in a safe way, then we would like to start to reopen offices to give them that flexibility. But we then will put a whole lot of protocols in place inside the offices to make sure they stay safe.”

Those measures may include temperature testing, new seating arrangements with greater distances between employees and the wearing of masks, she said.

Still, the shift to more remote working may become a longer-term trend across corporate America, Friedman said.

“The biggest surprise to me, although we had a lot of planning, was how quickly we were able to work from home and how productive it was,” she said. “And I’ve heard that from a lot of CEOs. Everyone expected more friction. And, you know what, it’s amazing how seamless the transition has been.”

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