Remote and hybrid work models have stayed extremely popular across the country and that has come at a cost to local municipalities. A new analysis found that in the nation’s largest office market, New York City, average workers are spending $4,661 less per year on things like food, shopping, and entertainment near their workplaces, adding up to $12.4 billion a year less spending. The sharp drop in spending is attributed to about 30 percent fewer days a week in the office for Manhattan workers, with Monday and Friday the least likely days for in-person work. Data studied in San Francisco and Chicago’s office markets found declines as well, with average workers spending $3,040 and $2,387 less per year, respectively.
The most visible shifts in office attendance in Manhattan are in the Financial District and Midtown neighborhoods, which all but empty out at the beginning and end of the week. The trend has led to restaurants and retail stores closing. Less spending from workers means less tax revenue for the city and less revenue for the public transit systems, both of which could end up negatively impacting the quality of a city’s public transportation networks, public schools, and more. While the city’s business districts suffer from the notable lack of workers during the week, neighborhoods where hybrid workers live have turned into business districts themselves, with foot traffic and transactions at restaurants and bars having increased significantly.