Coronavirus Update New York City: Companies hoping to safely 'attract' workers back to offices

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- It may be quiet in the streets of Manhattan, but the hope is for things to pick back up.

Soon, workers will return and offices will start to fill up.

Neil Goldmacher oversees the tenant side of Newmark, a global real estate services firm headquartered in New York City.

"A lot of the clients we speak to say productivity is starting to wane a bit and they really would like to get people back in and collaborate," he said.

Goldmacher says tenants are demanding as much touchless technology, air filtration and fresh air to the building as possible.

"I will tell you no surprise, landlords are responding to that," he said.

Workers can also expect to see Plexiglas dividers or cubicles blocked off for spacing, even staggered schedules to allow for a less dense workplace.

"We've actually removed chairs in some of the suites," said Reid Weppler, head of real estate at Convene.

At Convene, seating is delineated, air is filtered and amenities are abundant from catering to a medical practitioner on-site -- offering extra peace of mind for those who choose to work there.

"What we really see is the future of work is hybrid," Weppler said. "And that means the ability to meet physically and virtually, and also figuring out where you're going to work from."

In fact, according to the Partnership for NYC, most office workers will continue to work remotely at least part of the time, but by September, almost half of office workers are expected to make that commute in and return to the office -- a place they haven't been in a year. They also may have to wear a mask.

"Companies don't want to push their employees to come back, they want to attract them back," Goldmacher said.

And while some companies may eventually shrink their footprint or even open satellite offices near the suburbs, others may choose to enlarge their city space to allow for roomier conditions.

However, almost all are holding off on those bigger decisions for now.

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