Manhattan's office workers are slowly returning to the city's towers, but at such a snail's pace that most still won't be back by the end of January, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
In fact, the Partnership for New York City found half of the city's largest employers now expect some of their workforce to spend a majority of their time working remotely. About one in three expect to reduce their NYC office space and roughly one in six said they would cut their New York City-based staff.
The nonprofit, which represents more than 300 of the city's largest businesses, found that only 8% of the 1 million-plus office workers are back to work full-time now. By the end of January, employers expect that just 13% will be back five days a week.
When counting hybrid schedules, only 28% of office workers are at their desk at least one day a week now, and that's expected to rise to just 49% by the new year.
Among the largest employers, those with 5,000 workers or more, just 46% are expected to be back in the office at any frequency two months from now.
The numbers stand in stark contrast to prior Partnership surveys that found a growing return-to-work trend. But as the pandemic has dragged on and many major employers have been forced to repeatedly delay their return plans, attitudes appear to have shifted as well. (In March, for example, employers had projected that at least 45 percent of their employees would be back by now.)
The survey was conducted between Oct. 19 and 29. Among the data (source: Partnership for New York City):
On an average weekday, 28% of Manhattan office workers are in the workplace as of late October 2021.
- 8% of Manhattan office workers are in the office full time (five days a week)
- 10% are in four days per week
- 12% are in three days per week
- 8% are in two days per week
- 8% are in one day per week
- 54% of Manhattan office workers are still fully remote
49% of Manhattan office workers are expected to be in the workplace on an average weekday by the end of January 2022.
- 13% of Manhattan office workers are expected to be in the workplace five days per week by the end of January 2022
- 11% will be in four days per week
- 33% will be in three days per week
- 15% will be in two days per week
- 7% will be in one day per week
- 21% of Manhattan office workers will still be fully remote