"Remote Work Is Poised to Devastate America’s Cities"

"In order to survive, cities must let developers convert office buildings into housing."

"The “work from home” revolution has been very good for political columnists who like to write shirtless in pajama pants and share too much personal information with their readers. But the phenomenon hasn’t been so great for America’s cities.

The nation’s office buildings aren’t as empty as they were before COVID vaccines became widely available in spring 2021. But they’re still far less populated than they were in 2019. A recent analysis of Census Bureau data from the financial site Lending Tree found that 29 percent of Americans were working from home in October 2022. In New York City, financial firms reported that only 56 percent of their employees were in the office on a typical day in September.

Full-time remote work has grown less prevalent since the worst days of the pandemic. But flexible work arrangements — in which employees report to the office a couple times a week — are proving stickier. A recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research estimated that 30 percent of all full-time workdays would be performed remotely by the end of 2022."

Eric Levitz reports for New York magazine December 29, 2022.

Source: New York, 01/03/2023