By Doyinsola Oladipo
NEW YORK, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Nearly 50% of Manhattan office workers are expected to return by the end of 2022 as efforts by financial, real estate and law firms and other employers to bring workers back more than two years after the start of the coronavirus pandemic gain traction, a survey released on Thursday said.
New York, one of the largest commercial real estate markets in the world and an epicenter of the U.S. pandemic, saw its office towers empty as workers stayed home or moved elsewhere.
More than 160 major Manhattan office employers revealed workers are increasingly working from the office and the number of fully remote workers has dropped since April 2022, according to the survey by The Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit membership organization of over 300 business leaders and companies.
While only 10% of Manhattan's major office employers require daily attendance in the office, 90% of companies encourage their employees to return to the office. Seventy-seven percent of employers surveyed plan to or currently deploy a hybrid schedule.
Nearly 49% of Manhattan office workers on an average weekday work from the office, an 11% increase from April 2022. Over a third of workers come into the office three times a week.
Employers surveyed said those who work from home cite increased productivity. Public transit safety and reliability concerns are the secondary reason employees are choosing to stay at home.
Despite ongoing concerns about returning to the office, the share of office employees who are fully remote dropped from 28% in April to 16% as of mid-September.
The real estate industry has the highest average daily attendance at 82% as of mid-September, followed by law at 61% and financial services at 56%. (Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo in New York; editing by Anna Driver and Jonathan Oatis)