- Only 28% of Manhattan office workers are in the office during the week, according to a new survey by the Partnership for New York City.
- The city’s employers expect that 49% of workers will be in the office on an average weekday by the end of January.
- It will take years before the city reaches pre-pandemic levels of office work, Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, told Insider.
Only 28% of Manhattan office workers are in the office during the week, according to a new study.
The Partnership for New York City, one of the city’s leading business groups, surveyed major employers during the month of October to gauge the status of return to office among Manhattan’s workers. The goal of the survey was to assess the impact of remote work on employment and future demand for office space in the city.
Only 8% of workers are in the office five days a week, according to the survey. The city’s employers expect that 49% of workers will be in the office on an average weekday by the end of January, with 57% in the office at least three days a week and 21% likely to remain fully remote. Among surveyed employees, 48% said the status of COVID-19 was the primary concern determining their return to the office.
However, this level of remote work is not unique to New York City and is becoming an international phenomenon, Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, told Insider.
“Many of our companies are global companies and their hybrid work policies will be rolled out in response to the demands of operations in various states and countries,” Wylde said. “It’s going to vary with the operations, but I think it is a permanent and global change that is going to have much more flexibility in where people are working from.”
The real estate industry has the highest average daily attendance at 77% as of late October, compared to other industries surveyed. Financial services and law firms are both the second-highest at 27% daily attendance, the survey says.
Larger firms have the slowest rate to pre-pandemic office attendance levels. In offices with fewer than 500 employees, 39% of employees have returned to the office on the average weekday. Meanwhile, in workspaces with more than 5,000 employees, 28% of workers are currently in the office on the average weekday, the survey found.
While the number of office attendees is increasing, returning to pre-pandemic office levels will be a challenge to New York City, Wylde told Insider.
“New York is an expensive city to live in and to rent office space in,” Wylde said. “New York City is a very resilient place and we will see a response and a rebound that’s probably pretty creative. We’ll adjust to the new normal post-COVID environment, but we’re going to have a few challenging years to get there.”