New data from The Partnership for New York shows that just 8% of Manhattan office workers have returned to the workplace full-time, indicating a permanent shift to flexible arrangements.
The analysis showed that 38% of these professionals are back in the office some of the time, but that number may jump to 49% by Labor Day, still below the over 80% seen prior to the pandemic.
While the city is seeing incremental growth in occupancy, it is abundantly clear that a 100% return to the office may not be in the cards for the region ever again.
“Companies have tried everything — offering free meals, free snacks and they can’t bring people back full-time,” said Kathryn Wylde, president of The Partnership for New York.
In fact, the survey showed that 78% of companies will likely adopt a permanent hybrid model in order to retain top talent. For the 91% insisting on a return, 64% have incorporated new incentives, such as social activities, free meals, or transportation subsidies.
Industries leading the office return include:
- Real Estate (82%)
- Legal (46%)
- Technology (44%)
- Consulting (41%)
- Financial Services (40%)
Wylde adds that although employees appear to have a bigger say in workplace arrangements at the moment, the economy’s volatility could tip the power dynamic back to employers.