The hybrid model – working some days in person and others remotely – has become the norm in New York offices, where a clear majority of companies already assume that this formula is here to stay.

In the mecca of the capitalist world, going to the office is no longer a requirement, far from it. What began as a temporary fix for the pandemic has become the most common model for hundreds of thousands of workers.

According to a survey released this month by the Partnership for New York City, which represents 330 companies employing more than a million employees, only 8% of Manhattan office workers currently go to work five days a week.

Meanwhile, at the other extreme, 28% always work remotely, according to the data from this survey, collected from 160 large companies in the city.

On average, more than 60% of these employees have a hybrid model, in which they come to the office on some days. 11% work in person four days a week, 17% three, 21% two and 14% just one day.

CONVICTION OR NEED

Some companies have adopted the hybrid model out of conviction and others have done so out of necessity, at a time of high labor demand in the United States and in which a good number of employees are willing to change companies if they are forced to return to the company. full time office.

“They told us that in two months we had to return and I immediately looked for another job,” a New York computer engineer who prefers not to give his name explains to Efe.

After years working for one of the largest telecommunications companies in the country, it took the 38-year-old American just a few weeks to find a new, better-paying, totally remote job.

In New York, the case of the large banks has become emblematic, which stood out last year as one of the sectors most critical of teleworking and which, despite many attempts, continue to fail to bring employees back to the office. a majority of its hundreds of thousands of employees.

“It will be difficult for companies to argue that the only way to do things in the post-pandemic world is 100% in the office, because we have been showing for almost two years that much can be done outside,” José María Barrero, professor, explains to Efe. from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM), which since the beginning of the pandemic has participated in research on teleworking in the United States.

Today, many companies try to lure employees back by offering incentives such as social activities, free or discounted food, transportation subsidies, or childcare support.

THE FUTURE

Reluctantly or not, New York companies now accept that hybrid work is the future.

According to the survey cited above, almost 80 percent of employers indicate that they will maintain this model after the pandemic, compared to 6 percent who used it before covid-19.

Only one in ten companies surveyed plans to require daily presence in their offices once the health crisis is over, while a similar percentage will leave it in the hands of each department.

THE CONSEQUENCES

This reality terrifies the New York authorities, who have been warning for months of the devastating effect it can have on the city.

“You can’t be in your pajamas all day,” Mayor Eric Adams said last March at one of his numerous events with the business community, in which he has tirelessly promoted a return to the office.

In addition to the damage to the thousands of businesses that depend on the activity generated by the offices, local and state representatives fear fiscal ruin for New York given the possibility that the many employees who reside in neighboring states will stop paying taxes if they do not work. physically in the city and that telecommuting sinks the value of commercial buildings, which bring in a lot of money in the form of property taxes.

Since the start of the pandemic, many experts have expressed their fear that teleworking will drive companies away from cities, but for now it is something that has not materialized in the Big Apple, thanks in part to the generalization of this hybrid model. which requires continuing to have some physical presence.

In fact, nearly 40% of businesses surveyed in New York expect to increase their workforce in the city in the next five years, and nearly the same percentage of employers planning to add square footage to their offices is planning to reduce it.

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