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Survey: After Labor Day, remote schedule twice a week for workers in NYC

Most Long Islanders and others with jobs in

Most Long Islanders and others with jobs in New York City will likely be working remotely two days a week after Labor Day, according to a survey of employers. Credit: TNS/Spencer Platt

Even after Labor Day, Long Islanders and other employees at most Manhattan offices are still expected to work remotely — for at least two days each week.

That’s according to a new survey of employers released this week by a New York City business group, which found that 71% of employers plan to adopt a hybrid work schedule for office workers — with only a quarter requiring full-time return to in-person attendance.

It’s the latest survey by the group, the Partnership for New York City, on Manhattan office work and in-person attendance, which has deep implications for suburbs like Long Island, that are bedroom communities.

What to know

  • 71% of employers plan to adopt a hybrid work schedule for office workers in New York City.
  • A quarter of employers will require full-time return to in-person attendance.
  • 62% of office workers are expected to return in person after Labor Day — up from 45% in March.

In March, Newsday reported how even a partial shift to working from home on the Island instead of going into New York City would reverberate beyond employment and where people work, affecting roadways, taxes, shopping, eateries and health care.

Before a government-imposed shutdown closed offices, about 315,000 Long Islanders commuted to city jobs, according to the New York City Department of City Planning, which estimated that about 225,100 were from Nassau County and 89,300 from Suffolk. The bulk went to jobs in Manhattan. Recent figures weren't available.

About 22% of the 1.4 million Long Islanders who the state Labor Department said were employed worked in New York City.

The results of the business group’s survey, conducted between May 17 and June 2 of 180 companies, "are decidedly more optimistic than previous surveys conducted over the past year" on the issue of returning to the office.

Among the findings: 62% of office workers are expected to return in person after Labor Day — up from 45% in a similar March survey.

The Partnership credited "the impact of relatively rapid vaccination rates."

Still "employee preference and continued protective policies" are leading employers to adopt the hybrid model, the group reported.

Among other findings:

  • As of late May, 12% of Manhattan office employees had returned in person, up from 10% in the March survey.
  • By the end of July, 29% of employees are expected to have returned.
  • Financial services employers expect 61% of employees to be back in person by September, up from 50%.
  • Tech employers expect the fewest employees back — 40% — by the end of September, lower than the 51% in the prior survey.

Of the 180 companies surveyed, 27 plan to mandate vaccines against COVID-19.

The number one impediment to returning to the office remained the status of COVID-19 infections, followed by vaccination rates, then the safety of public transit, employees' desire to work remotely, followed by crime and public safety, schools reopening and the availability of child care.

For employees at some jobs, the pandemic’s permanent legacy is the end of commuting to an office job from Long Island — or wherever: the survey found that 4% of employers don’t plan on requiring anyone to return.

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