ManpowerGroup anticipates it will need less office space when employees make their expected return this fall, potentially freeing up a floor of the company’s downtown Milwaukee headquarters.
The company is seeking tenants that could fill the space, Jonas Prising, chairman and chief executive officer of ManpowerGroup, said during a Greater Milwaukee Committee meeting Monday. Prising was joined by GRAEF president and CEO John Kissinger and Marcus Corp. president and CEO Greg Marcus for a discussion about their companies’ office reopening plans.
“From an infrastructure perspective, our needs for real estate are going to be lower than they were in the past as we implement new routines,” Prising said, adding that the company will eventually be able to “liberate” one floor of its four-story, 280,000-square-foot HQ at the Schlitz Park campus.
The building at 100 Manpower Place, located along the Milwaukee River and adjacent to the former Schlitz brewery complex, was developed in 2007 for ManpowerGroup. The company’s current lease runs through 2031.
Prior to the pandemic, it housed roughly 900 Manpower employees.
Prising didn’t specify how exactly the company would be reducing its footprint, but said the company has made a push toward greater flexibility for its workers over the past year and expects to continue that trend after employees return to the office.
Manpower's HQ is open, but most workers have not yet returned, Prising said. The company is planning a phased approach in drawing employees back, starting with having groups come in to test out the new office routines and offer their feedback.
Prising said he expects a wave of employees will return after the July 4 holiday, with a “full return” slated for after Labor Day weekend.
“That’s when we would expect to be fully operational in a new way,” Prising said.
He noted the company wants to wait until the end of summer, given the uncertainty of summer programming and how that will affect employees' child care needs.
A recent survey of employees indicated the vast majority want to come back to the office when it's safe to do so, Prising said.
"Our presumption is most people will want to come to the office, and that we will want most people to come in," he said.
Elmer Moore, executive director of Scale Up Milwaukee and moderator of the GMC discussion, suggested to Prising that some Scale Up businesses might be the right fit for the vacated Manpower HQ space.