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NYC enters Phase Two

As the city enters Phase Two, thousands will return to their offices even as many companies keep their workers home. Beside offices, the reopening plan also permits outdoor dining, some in-store shopping and also allows hair salons, barbershops, and real estate firms to restart their work. Brokers and landlords say they anticipate only 10% to 20% of Manhattan’s office workers to return today, though they expect that figure to increase gradually over the summer, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • Most companies are taking a cautious approach: Some are keeping offices closed, while others are opening them at reduced occupancy and allowing employees to decide if they prefer to keep working from home. Many don’t plan on being fully back in the office before Labor Day, and maybe only then if schools have reopened.
  • Be Smart: Other states have also shown little enthusiasm for returning to the office. In Georgia, which began reopening in April, visits to office buildings were still at just 72% of pre-pandemic levels in mid-June, up from a low of 61% in early April.
  • Why it matters: Many firms say having employees work from home has been better than expected and are in no rush to get back to the office. In a recent global survey, just 15% of companies said their office occupancy will be back to pre-pandemic levels within six months and 38% said it would take more than a year for everyone to be back. [WSJ]

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