Nearly half of Manhattan office employers have delayed their employees' return-to-work schedules because of the delta variant of COVID-19, and less than half of their employees will be back to work this month, according to a widely watched survey.
The Partnership for New York City surveyed employers between Aug. 9 and Aug. 20 on their plans for Manhattan's roughly 1 million office workers. Some 44 percent of employers said they had delayed return plans due to the highly contagious variant, though the length of the delay varied widely.
About 41% of those office workers are now expected to return by the end of September -- a drop of more than 20 points from a prior survey by the nonprofit group.
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By the end of January, employers expect 76% of their Manhattan office workers will actually be back to the office. The vast majority of those will be on a hybrid schedule with some remote days; only 26% of employers told the Partnership their employees would have to come back full-time.
Nearly three in five said they would require employee vaccinations; about half said they would require universal masking in the office.