After a Year and a Half of Fighting Remote Work, City Work-From-Home Up to Two Days a Week
By Yehudit Garmaise
While continuing to confirm that “some roles cannot be performed remotely,” Mayor Eric Adams announced on Thursday that he signed an agreement with District Counsel 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido to allow eligible city workers to work remotely up to two days per week.
Employee participation in the remote work program is strictly voluntary, said the mayor, who will continue meeting with DC37 “to discuss alternative work flexibility measures for those employees whose job functions are not eligible for remote work.”
The new program will run until May 31, 2025, and “will be renewed for a year thereafter, if both parties agree,” said Mayor Adams, who right after taking office last January, famously chided workers for failing to return to their abandoned offices.
“You can’t run New York City from home,” said the newly inaugurated mayor, fired up to bring NYC back to life. “We must have everyone participate in our financial ecosystem. You can’t stay at home in your pajamas all day. That’s not who we are as a city.”
But a year and a half later, Mayor Adams, who wants "to work in partnership with our union leaders” seems to have accepted that flexible work arrangements are likely here to stay: which is great for many workers, but bad for cities.
The flip side of the estimate by the National Bureau of Economic Research that 30% of all full-time jobs would be performed remotely by the end of last year corresponded with a substantial decrease in foot traffic in central business districts, whose economies have been decimated since 2019, New York magazine reports.
“Collapsing office attendance rates are taking cities’ tax revenues down with them,” nymag.com reports.
While the landscapes of the business districts in New York City and other large American cities shift along with the current reality of remote work, for now, New York City workers can work from home for up to two days-a-week.
“We heard DC 37 workers loud and clear over the course of our latest round of contract negotiations and agreed to establish a flexible work committee as part of the agreement,” said Renee Campion, the commission of the city’s Office of Labor Relations.