Mayor Adams considering allowing city employees to work from home

When New York City began its post-pandemic reopening Mayor Eric Adams insisted municipal workers come back to the office, but now, he may be easing up on those requirements. 

"You can't stay home in your pajamas all day. That is not who we are as a city," Adams said last February, criticizing remote work and saying it was vital for the city's economic recovery to get employees back into the city. 

Now, City Hall is surveying agencies to see if remote work is possible for city workers.

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"We are saying to our agencies, come up with creative ways of having flexibility," Adams said Tuesday.

"It tells you that employees are winning in this tug of war," said Greg Giangrande, a human resources expert and the Chief Human Resources Officer with Ellucian.

Giangrande is on the same page with employment Attorney Andrew Lieb.  

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"I think the Mayor had really no choice because all the city employees were demanding a hybrid model and they were having trouble with recruiting and retention," Lieb said.

"Most employers recognize that the days of 5 days a week in an office are over and it's some form of hybrid as the new norm,"  Giangrande said.

A survey last month conducted by Partnership for New York City found only 9 percent of Manhattan office workers are in the office five days a week. On average, about 52% are at the office during the week, and 82% of employers are offering a hybrid work schedule.

"We have to adjust to the new norm otherwise they're going to have difficulty finding and retaining employees," Giangrande said.

The Mayor is also concerned about treating all city workers fairly. People like police officers, nurses, doctors, and school crossing guards cannot work from home. 

"How do we make sure that we don't have a 2 tier system?" Adams said. "How do I look out for my fellow civil servant to say, you have to come in so how do we compensate you in some way."