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Remote Work Is Here to Stay. Manhattan May Never Be the Same.

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Remote Work Is Here to Stay. Manhattan May Never Be the Same.

New York City, long buoyed by the flow of commuters into its towering office buildings, faces a cataclysmic challenge, even when the pandemic ends.

The New York Times,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Remote working policies are here to stay. The New York Times’ Matthew Haag explores how this will affect people, companies and cities in the long term.

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  • Overview
  • Background
  • Concrete Examples


The coronavirus pandemic continues to shape how and where people work, Matthew Haag reports in The New York Times. Remote working, once an uncommon benefit, became the norm almost overnight as lockdowns gripped cities around the world. A year later, these policies are here to stay, as employers and employees recognize the benefits of flexible work. However, cities and businesses miss the income daily commuters generate, as distinctions between work and home life blur. These effects may linger long after the pandemic ends.


The pandemic burst the commercial real estate bubble in Manhattan.

The coronavirus pandemic changed how companies function. Many are reducing downtown office locations, to the detriment of local businesses and municipalities. This is particularly apparent in New York City, where many firms that occupied prime commercial real estate are reducing, or even abandoning, their rented offices. 

Manhattan, where 1.6 million commuters once passed through each day, acutely feels the impact of the shift toward remote work.  As a signal to encourage corporations to bring their workforce back into city office buildings, New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio says he expects 80,000 city workers to return in May.

Yet some of the largest occupiers of Manhattan commercial office space, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. – which employs more than 20,000 people in New York City – have announced they will shrink their full-time office presence in the future. The company is considering a hybrid solution.

Mega-accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers...

About the Author

The New York Times reporter Matthew Haag covers the intersection of real estate and politics in New York City. 

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