Just 10% of Manhattan office employees have returned to the workplace

Posted On Fri, March 12, 2021 By

Posted On Fri, March 12, 2021 By In Manhattan, Policy

Via Creative Commons

Although New York City entered phase two of the state’s reopening last June, which allowed offices to reopen to nonessential workers, just 10 percent of Manhattan office employees have returned to their workplace as of March. The Partnership for New York City this week released a survey of major employers to find out how long the borough’s one million office workers will continue to work from home. According to the Partnership, employers expect less than half of their workers to return to the office by September.

As part of their latest report, the Partnership surveyed 174 employees representing 209,000 employees between February 24 and March 8. The majority of the respondents had offices in Midtown West, Midtown East, and the Financial District.

According to the survey, the real estate industry has brought employees back to the office at higher rates than other industries, with more than 51 percent of real estate employees in the office. Employers responded they expect 82 percent of employees to return to in-person work by September.

Tech and finance sector employers said they believe 51 and 50 percent of employees will be back in their Manhattan offices by the fall, respectively.

A majority of employers surveyed told the Partnership they will implement a “hybrid” model, allowing workers to work from home during some days. Roughly 22 percent of respondents said they would require their employees to return full-time.

Of the 174 employers surveyed, just 11 said they would require in-person staff to receive the coronavirus vaccine. About 61 percent of employers will not require that returning employees are vaccinated. Of these employers, 37 percent will actively encourage employees to get vaccinated. 

On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he expects all city workers to return by May, as more and more residents receive the vaccine. “The City’s getting safer all the time. Yes, we’re going to bring back – and remember, 80 percent of our workforce is on the job right now, because most of them do frontline work, but the 20 percent that work in office settings, in particular, they’ll be coming back in May,” de Blasio said during a press briefing.

“We’ll be working closely with the unions. We’ll be focusing on health and safety.”

The state of New York last summer released guidance for offices, which includes capacity limits of no more than 50 percent of the maximum occupancy, social distancing, face coverings, and cleaning and disinfection requirements.

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