Best-laid plans for a full-time return to the office remain hampered by Covid-19 case rates and a workforce reluctant to resume travel, according to data released this week by the Partnership for New York City. , a corporate advocacy group.
According to the group’s new survey of more than 160 major New York employers, only 8% of Manhattan office workers are back in the office five days a week, and 28% are still fully remote. On an average weekday, 38% of Manhattan office workers are in the office, a figure that employers say will rise to 49% by September. In the group’s January survey, many employers said they believed daily attendance would top 50% by April.
The most significant finding of the new survey, according to partnership president Kathryn Wylde, is that 78% of workplaces have adopted a hybrid model, allowing for a combination of remote and in-person working. That’s a jump of 6% before the pandemic.
“It’s a complete turnaround. It’s quite groundbreaking,” Ms Wylde said. “Employers came kicking and shouting at this position. They are not happy. They think being in the office is how people learn.
Many companies are realizing that their efforts to get workers back to the office are coming up against the summer bustle: 30% of respondents offer additional flexibility for the coming months, such as summer Fridays or the option to work entirely remotely in August. And then there are those who try to make the office more appealing. Nearly two-thirds offer workers incentives to return to the office, including 43% that offer free or reduced-price meals.