"Certainly On My Mind" - NY Gov. Jokes About Banning Zoom To Get Workers Back In Offices 

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 - 10:30 PM

New York Governor Kathy Hochul joked with ABC7 New York that she wouldn't sanction Zoom to get people back to work in Manhattan as the latest employment survey found less than a third of workers are back in the office. 

"...short of banning Zoom, which I'm not going to do - but it's certainly something on my mind as we want people back downtown," Hochul joked with reporters.

The scary part of which is that, as many have become increasingly aware of in the last two years, when a Democratic leader says they won't do something... it usually means, at some point, they will (remember "two weeks to flatten the curve", vaccine passports are a conspiracy theory, etc...). 

The newly elected governor is desperate for workers to return to the borough as the Zoom-boom during the virus pandemic has kept many at home. In return, the local economy languishes as businesses, such as eateries, bars, and other street shops, suffer due to a decline of office workers. 

"It is very safe here and we want people to come back. They're missing the vitality, the energy and the innovation that is spurred by the connections of human beings," Hochul said.

Perhaps it's time to stop the incessant and accelerating fearmongering about the virus then?

According to Partnership for New York City, only 28% of Manhattan office workers were back in the city on an average workday in November. 

"Of Manhattan's one million office workers, 28% are back. And of those, only 8% are back full time," said Kathryn Wylde, who heads Partnership for New York City.

By Jan. 30, employers expect about half of workers will return to the office on an average weekday, with 57% in the office at least three days a week while 21% remain remote. 

The highest average daily workplace attendance is real estate, with 77%, followed by financial services (27%) and law firms (27%).

We have routinely commented on the slow return of workers. Kastle Systems, whose electronic access systems secure thousands of office buildings across NYC, shows an increasing number of workers returned to the office at the beginning of November. Since September, the index has risen nearly fourteen percentage points from 20% to about 34%. Overall, the index remains well below pre-pandemic levels. 

Kastle's numbers appear similar to Partnership for New York City's survey data. Even though Hochul joked about banning Zoom, the governor has only one job: get re-elected. And will do so by any means possible as she must revive Manhattan's economy. So don't be surprised if she sanctions companies for not returning workers to office buildings or even goes after Zoom, as one third of companies surveyed said they expect to reduce their city office space requirements in the next five years.

This means remote work is here to stay... and the politicians won't like that at all!