The de Blasio administration plans to end remote work for municipal employees on May 3 and will require workers to return to their physical offices, the New York Times reported, citing internal planning documents.
The move is expected to impact about 80,000 employees, including caseworkers, computer specialists and clerical staff, who will return in phases.
Many of the city’s public-facing employees — including police officers, firefighters and sanitation workers — have already been back to their work sites.
The move may compel more private businesses to bring their employees, many of whom have been working remotely, back to offices. The Partnership for New York City said that as of early March, only 10 percent of employees were in offices. The business group said it expects nearly half of the city’s one million office workers to return to the office by September.
Reggie Thomas, a vice president with the Real Estate Board of New York, called the move “a major momentum builder,” according to the report.
The city’s announcement follows a number of companies announcing their return-to-office plans. Morgan Stanley announced this week that it plans a full return to the office, while others such as Microsoft and HSBC are offering hybrid plans for workers.
But not everyone is happy with the decision, according to the publication, especially considering that workers may not be required to wear masks and will not be compelled to be vaccinated before reporting to their desks.
“I want to make sure that those offices are absolutely ready for workers to come back,” Henry Garrido, the executive director of District Council 37, told the Times.
[NYT] — Keith Larsen