Hochul wants workers back in NYC offices

Coronavirus

NEW YORK — Gov. Kathy Hochul wants workers back in the office as part of her vision to “unlock New York’s incredible potential.”

“Offices are still too empty and too many workers are at home — that has an impact on our economy and ripples across the entire city,” Hochul tweeted Thursday. “I’m putting a stake in the ground: It’s time to get back to the office.”

The governor laid out three main priorities at an event hosted by The Association for a Better New York: Getting New Yorkers back in the office, getting the economy back on track and investing in new city infrastructure.

“This is not a time to despair,” Hochul said. “We will reimagine this city as only dreamers and doers can.”

Hochul’s predecessor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said in July that he wanted employees back in offices by Labor Day.

“New York City is not going to come back on its own,” he said.

It’s been more than two months since Cuomo’s suggested deadline, but more than 50% of offices workers are still working remotely full-time, according to results released by the Partnership for New York City.

According to those results, only 8% of workers are working full-time in an office setting. Of those interviewed, 48% of workers said risks associated with COVID-19 are the main factors keeping them from working in an office full-time. Additionally, 33% of employees said they prefer remote work.

As part of her efforts to get New Yorkers back to the office, Hochul announced a new scholarship program for health care workers getting nursing degrees at CUNY and SUNY schools. Hochul said the 1,000 scholarships will help address potential labor shortages in the health care industry.

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