Will people return to Midtown?

Interesting perspective regarding the latest worldwide “crisis.” In 2020, it may have really shifted (normal) people’s mindsets a lot. In our opinion, being in the center of it all has truly lost most of its appeal. Not entirely the medical fear-mongering either. But probably because most people are now narcissistic assholes, thanks to social media and other ways. Much easier to leave all that superficial shit behind and live a more humble and meaningful life.

new yorkers myopic view of the world midtown - Will people return to Midtown?

Will people return to Midtown?

via Lion of the Blogosphere

According to a recent “NY Slimes” article, at one office building on 6th Avenue (in Manhattan, of course), only 6% of people are working in the building compared to the previous summer, so 94% are working from home.

That’s pretty much as I would have expected it to be. If anything, it’s a mystery as to why 6% of the building (500 people) are going into the office. The company I work for has announced that all offices are closed—you can’t go to work in them even if you wanted to—until 2021. And I have no reason to actually believe that they will make people go in in January 2021 if the pandemic isn’t over yet. The longer we all work from home, the more time there is for this to become the norm, and inertia will keep people at home.

This has nothing to do with Donald Trump or Andrew Cuomo, this is all about big corporations keeping their employees home regardless of whether Trump says everything should open or if Cuomo theoretically allows offices to re-open with social distancing. Big corporations don’t want to put their employees at risk or expose themselves to liability, not when everything is working out well enough with everyone working from home.

The big-money question is, what happens if there’s a vaccine and a successful vaccination program such that it’s safe for everyone to return to the office. Will everything go back to the way it was before? I don’t think so. With all the cool restaurants and stuff closed, what made going to work in Midtown fun (if you didn’t have to put up with a long commute) is no longer there. I bet a lot of top-level management has moved to the Hamptons and they may not want to go back themselves, having gotten used to a more rural lifestyle.

The article says, “New York survived the late ’70s, and everybody thought the city was over, rampant crime, near bankruptcy. It survives the market crashes of ’87 and ’89, it survives the dot-com crash of 2000 or so. It survived 2008. So it will survive.”

I say that this time it’s different because, in none of those other economic downturns was the whole reason for NYC’s existence, people working in crowded office buildings, put into question. In those cases, some people were out of work, but the technologies to allow 96% or more of the white-collar workforce to work from home didn’t exist. Maybe it existed somewhat in 2008, but 2008 was just an normal recession and didn’t call into question the very reason for NYC being NYC in the first place.

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