Eric Adams, who is anti-remote-work and pro-living-in-your-office, has relented on his return-to-office absolutism (sort of). A contract reached earlier this year for members of District Council 37, the city’s largest union of municipal workers, includes a hybrid work plan, and the mayor announced on Thursday that a number of city workers would be able to work from home for up to two days per week. “I have always said that any flexible-work programs the city offers must acknowledge the reality that there are some roles that cannot be performed remotely,” Adams said in a statement. “This new pilot program will protect core services that New Yorkers rely on while offering city workers additional flexibility in their schedules.”
The change comes after an exodus of city employees and an ongoing struggle to staff crucial agencies. It’s still unclear exactly how many employees will be eligible for hybrid work, but a city official told The Wall Street Journal that the new provision on remote work will apply to 30 of the city’s 50 or so agencies. Henry A. Garrido, executive director of the union, estimated that 25,000 of the 90,000 workers covered by the contract would be eligible. (According to Crain’s, eligibility “will be determined by workers’ job performance, whether they are represented by DC37, and whether their title allows for remote work.”) “The world of work has changed,” Garrido said of the hybrid deal. If only the mayor had realized that sooner.