Workers in the Big Apple are refusing to giving up the comforts of working from home, with just eight percent of the workforce back in the office five days a week, a new survey revealed.
At least 28percent of Manhattan office employees have continued to work fully remote, according to a report by the advocacy group Partnership for New York City.
The agency surveyed 160 major employers in Midtown and the financial district between April 21 and May 4.
Perhaps the most revelatory finding is that 78percent of workplaces now have a predominantly hybrid model approach- a startling contrast from just six percent in 2019.
Mayor Eric Adams has pleaded with companies to prioritize mandatory attendance in order to stimulate the city’s bruised economy, and 7.6 percent unemployment rate- the worst in the US – thanks to the continued popularity of working from home.
Workers readjusting to pre-pandemic rituals such as long commutes, juggling child care and physically interacting with colleagues have yet to make a full comeback to the office.
Many argue that such routines have become more difficult two years later, citing increased exposure to COVID-19 and increased costs for lunch and commuting stemming from the 7percent inflation.
But the mayor has hit back, seemingly alleging that many New Yorkers go from work-from-home Monday to Friday, to going out on the weekends.
‘You can’t tell me you’re afraid of Covid on a Monday and I see you in the club on Sunday,’ Adams joked.
Workers in the Big Apple refuse to give up the many benefits of remote working, with only 8percent back in the office five days a week, a survey revealed
Perhaps the most revelatory finding is that 78 percent of workplaces now have a predominantly hybrid model approach- a startling contrast from just 6percent in 2019
At least 28percent of Manhattan office employees have continued to work fully remote, according to a report by the advocacy group Partnership for New York City
Only eight percent of Manhattan office workers are in the office full time, while 11percent are in four days per week.
Seventeen percent are estimated to go to the office three days per week, 21percent are in two days per week, and 14percent are in one day per week. Roughly 28percent are fully remote, a drop from 54percent in October 2021.
As of April, the real estate industry has the highest average attendance at a 82percent daily average, followed by law at 46percent, and tech and media at 44percent and 43percent, respectively.
According to the survey, 38percent of employers will continue to require vaccinations whether government mandates are lifted or not, while 18percent will not continue to require vaccinations. Forty-four percent have yet to decide.
Among workers who were remote and have gone back at least one day a week in-person, more say things in general have gotten better than worse and that they’ve been more productive rather than less, an April poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed.
But the level of stress for these workers is elevated.
Even workers who have been in person throughout the pandemic are more negative than positive about the way the pandemic has impacted their work lives.
Thirty-five percent say the way things are going has gotten worse, while 20percent say it’s gotten better. Fifty percent say their stress has worsened, while just 11percent say it’s gotten better; 39percent say there’s no difference.
Mayor Eric Adam has pleaded with companies to prioritize mandatory attendance in order to stimulate the city’s bruised economy, and 7.6 percent unemployment rate- the worst in the US – thanks to the continued popularity of working from home
As of April, the real estate industry has the highest average attendance at a 82percent daily average, followed by law at 46percent, and tech and media at 44percent and 43percent, respectively
At least half of the in-person workers say balancing responsibilities, potential COVID exposure at work, their commute and social interaction are sources of stress.
People with children were more likely to report their return was having an adverse effect, some of it stemming from concerns about keeping their families safe from COVID and maintaining a better work-life balance.
Most said it could help alleviate stress if their employer provided more flexible work options and workplace safety precautions from the virus. But for some workers, a physical return – in any form – will be hard to navigate.
‘A lot of people have gotten accustomed to working from home. It’s been two years,’ said Jessica Edwards, national director of strategic alliances and development at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a US-based advocacy group.
‘For companies, it’s all about prioritizing mental health and being communicative about it. They should not be afraid of asking their employees how are they really doing.’
Prior to the pandemic, 84percent of employers had a mandatory daily attendance model, compared to April’s mere 10percent, according to the Partnership for New York City survey.
The normally bustling Rockefeller Plaza sits dead in March 2021. Unemployment in NYC is still among the highest for any US city as office workers stay home
NYC mayor Eric Adams has made returning workers to the office one of his main objectives.
‘We can’t send mixed messages,’ Adams told heads of banks and tech companies at a press conference in February. ‘We can’t keep kicking the can down the road.’
Following the pandemic, NYC real estate prices have soared but offices in Midtown Manhattan and the Financial District remain empty as many employees have chosen to work from home.
Although Covid numbers are steadily dropping and mask mandates have been lifted, city workers have been slow to return to the office.
Firms such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs had planned to bring workers back in early 2022, but the sudden surge in cases caused by the COVID Omicron variant prompted them to issue yet another delay.
Small businesses including mom-and-pop shops and restaurants which rely on commuters have seen takings tank, with once-buzzing Manhattan now filled with empty store-fronts as work from home empties the city streets on weekdays.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, close to one million Americans have died of COVID-19
Goldman Sachs told employees to come back to the office starting June 14, after delaying their return ahead of the holidays when COVID-19 cases were out of control ahead of the holidays. Goldman Sachs planned for a January 14 return date before making the change.
‘We know from experience that our culture of collaboration, innovation and apprenticeship thrives when our people come together, and we look forward to having more of our colleagues back in the office so that they can experience that once again on a regular basis,’ the company said in a memo.
The country currently has over 82million active infections
JPMorgan announced last month that as the US surpasses its goal of more than 200 million Covid-19 vaccinations and restrictions are lifted, offices will open on May 17 to 50percent capacity.
The retail banking company, which employs about 14,000 people in the US expects. staff to work at least one day a week, which is similar to its policy late last year before the Omicron variant swept the nation.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, close to one million Americans have died of COVID-19. The country currently has over 82million active infections.