Attention FAE Customers:
Please be aware that NASBA credits are awarded based on whether the events are webcast or in-person, as well as on the number of CPE credits.
Please check the event registration page to see if NASBA credits are being awarded for the programs you select.

Fewer Than a Third of Manhattan Office Workers Actually in Office

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Nov 10, 2021
New York City Residency Homes Buildings

Recent data indicates that only 28 percent of Manhattan office workers have actually returned to the office, CNBC reported. What's more, while this percentage is expected to go up by January, it will still be less than half, 49 percent, reporting back to their desks. Even then, these workers are unlikely to be at the office all the time: Only 13 percent of workers are expected to return to a full five-day schedule. In contrast, one third are expected to be in about three days a week, and 21 percent are expected to be fully remote. 

Bloomberg, reporting on the same poll (conducted by the Partnership for New York City), noted that while the 28 percent is higher than the 23 percent reported in August, it remains far below what people at the time were projecting, as employers had expected 41 percent back at the office by the end of September. 

One reason for these low numbers is that many companies believe that they don't need as much space as before, as 13 percent expect to be reducing their workforce size in New York City. The sum is even higher for financial firms: 22 percent. 

As for why workers don't want to go back, the poll found the biggest factor was COVID-19 safety, though commuting issues and public safety concerns were also cited. 

It would appear, then, that the optimism firms had of going totally back to the way things were has largely faded. A poll in May 2020 by the Society of Human Resources Managers found that while a plurality of companies had no set date for reopening, of those that did, 59 percent said they were aiming to do so before the end of July. By the time June was nearly over, though, a McKinsey poll of business executives indicated that most had readjusted their expectations, believing that they'd have 80 percent of their workforce back at the office by September. By June 2021, the majority of workers, 62 percent, anticipated that they will be back in their offices by September, Crain's New York Business reported.

The pattern, it seemed, was a constant pushing back of return expectations until, now, companies seem resigned to most of their workers not going back full time to the office. 

Click here to see more of the latest news from the NYSSCPA.