The best-laid plans for a full-time return to office remain confused by Covid-19 case rates and a workforce reluctant to return to commuting, according to data published this week by the Partnership for New York City, a corporate influence group.
Only 8 percent of office workers in Manhattan are back in the office five days a week, and 28 percent are still completely remote, according to the group’s new survey among more than 160 large employers in New York. On an average weekday, 38 percent of Manhattan office workers are in the office, a number that employers expect to rise to 49 percent by September. In the group̵[ads1]7;s January survey, many employers said they thought the daily turnout would exceed 50 percent by April.
The most important finding of the new survey, according to the partnership’s president, Kathryn Wylde, is that 78 percent of workplaces have adopted a hybrid model, which allows a mixture of external and personal work. That is a jump from 6 percent before the pandemic.
“It simply came to our notice then. It’s quite revolutionary, “said Wylde. “Employers have come kicking and screaming to this position. They are not thrilled. They think being in the office is how people learn. “
Many companies realize that their efforts to bring workers back to the office collide with summer restlessness: 30 percent of respondents offer extra flexibility for the coming months, such as summer Fridays or the opportunity to work remotely in August. And then there are those who try to make the office more tempting. Nearly two-thirds offer employees incentives to return to the office, including 43 percent who provide free or discounted meals.