Just 28% of Manhattan office workers are back, survey finds

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Just 28 percent of Manhattan’s 1 million workers are back in their offices on an average weekday — and just 8 percent are at their desks five days a week, according to a new survey.

Meanwhile 54 percent remain fully remote, according to the poll by the business group The Partnership for New York City that surveyed major employers in late October.

The survey found that 10 percent are in four days a week, 12 percent in three days, 8 percent each are in two days and once a week.

The companies expect almost half of their workers to be in the office on an average weekday by Jan. 30, but a third of the companies also plan to slash their space requirements over the next five years, the survey found.

“The survey demonstrates that remote work is a long term issue that we’re going to have to deal with,” said Partnership president Kathy Wylde.

“State and local governments are going to have to think very hard about how we maintain our economy and our tax base when you no longer have to live there or have their office there,” she said about Manhattan’s commercial districts.

The employers most likely to cut office space are in accounting, public relations and tech.

That’ll result in an estimated 13 percent reduction in jobs located in the city, with the greatest in-person losses in the financial services industry.

businesspeople in office
The Partnership for New York City expects almost half of their workers to be in the office on an average weekday by Jan. 30.
Getty Images

Mayor-elect Eric Adams told The Post he’s focused on turning around the exodus from Manhattan.

“For New York City to thrive, midtown cannot continue to be a ghost town,” Adams said.

“We need to make sure people feel safe to get back on the subway and into their offices, work with their employers to address their needs to get workers back, and to reimagine how we use our central business district so that live/work communities can grow and bring the energy and commerce back,” Adams said.

Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) sponsored legislation that would make the neighborhoods more residential.

“My bill would bring everybody to the table and create an office-to affordable housing conversion task force,” Brannan said in an interview.

“We have been living under the burden of a housing crisis in NYC for decades. Let’s make the most of this moment and exhaust our options,” he said.

The real estate industry — whose future largely relies on people returning to their offices — has the highest average daily attendance at 77 percent followed by the financial services industry and law firms at 27 percent.

The largest factor contributing to a hybrid work model is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Other concerns include employee preference to work from home, unvaccinated children, commuting concerns and perceptions about public safety.

Half of the companies require their employees to be vaccinated.

office computer
Not even 30 percent of Manhattan’s 1 million workers are back in their offices.
Getty Images/Tetra images RF

The employers surveyed occupy office space in Midtown and the Financial District.

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