Philadelphia mayor orders city’s senior officials to return to offices full time

The mayor's office eventually wants all 25,000 city employees back in the office but has not laid out a timeline.

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

Mayor Cherelle Parker has ordered top city officials to return to full-time, in-person work beginning next month.

“I have decided to transition all senior officials to full-time in-office work effective March 4, 2024,” said the mayor in a memo obtained by Action News.

This applies to 71 employees who are either cabinet members or those who report directly to the Office of the Mayor, commissioners, directors and deputy directors.

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The mayor says the decision was made with several factors in mind, including “sustaining a framework of collaboration and efficiency and delivering on my promise of a more visible and accessible workforce.”

“We are just not a virtual administration. We’re more like a water cooler administration. We’re not an administration that primarily gets stuff done on Teams. We believe that the private sector is doing this — we see that. We also see that the city’s legislative and judicial branches are doing it and we will follow suit,” said Tiffany Thurman, the Chief of Staff for the City of Philadelphia.

Earlier this week Action News spoke to Mayor Parker, who said it was part of her plan to make the city safer.

“I want a thriving downtown. I want to see more people walking in our city, and quite frankly, going in and out of our stores, spending money, helping to strengthen the economy. And quite frankly, when people see more folks walking in our city and you see more bodies, it feels safer,” said Parker.

The mayor’s office eventually wants all 25,000 city employees back in the office but has not laid out a timeline.

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