Will Young Talent Return to the Office in NYC?

30 May, 2022 / Alan Rosinsky
Young NYC Businesswoman Works Solo in Office, Reflecting Shifting Workspace Trends.

In NYC, convincing young talent to return to the office remains challenging for landlords. The new norm is flexibility, making the task of luring workers back to busy urban settings tougher. Moreover, with the pandemic aftermath—safety worries, disrupted commutes, high housing costs, and aging infrastructure—the charm of big, bustling cities has faded. Additionally, the rise of remote and hybrid work has emptied many urban centers.

Landlords aren’t without strategies, though. Taking a leaf from the multifamily and hospitality sectors, they invest in modern amenities and renovations. As a result, today’s offices are more than workspaces. Instead, they’re becoming hubs for networking, socializing, and even relaxation.

Could this multi-purpose approach be the winning ticket to draw young talent back to the office? It’s certainly worth a closer look.

The Challenge of Incentivizing Young Talent

In our post-pandemic, remote-first world, encouraging a return to the office becomes a complex puzzle. With many remote work opportunities at their fingertips, the workforce demands more than just a desk. So how can landlords respond to this shift?

Understanding the target audience is key. Landlords aiming to lure back Gen-Z or Millennial employees must think beyond the cubicle. Imagine offices hosting bars, game rooms, on-site cafes, or even yoga spaces. Think about offices fostering social interactions, emphasizing physical and mental well-being. Or with lush outdoor space.

Yet, it doesn’t stop there. Embracing modern technology is a game-changer. Touchless access, facial recognition software, and ‘smart’ building features, such as advanced HVAC systems and energy-efficient amenities, could tip the scale. The tech-savvy, sustainability-conscious younger generations value these upgrades. At the same time, not everyone finds home conducive to productivity. Instead, some crave the quiet, focused environment an office can provide.

Hence, the balancing act for landlords is creating spaces catering to collaborative and independent work styles. It’s a challenging task, but one that holds the potential to transform the office experience and successfully bring young talent back.

Bar/Dining Spaces

Bar and dining spaces are sprouting in Manhattan’s office buildings. Directly targeting tenant retention and employee satisfaction, the lure of an in-house happy hour and readily available gourmet meals is potent.

Take, for example, landmark office towers like One Vanderbilt and 730 Third Avenue. They’re playing their cards on the irresistible appeal of on-site fine dining for the office crowd. Workers in these spaces are just steps away from a world of culinary delights, with convenience and big-name brands front and center.

One Vanderbilt even raises the bar with Michelin Star-level dining. Its rooftop is home to Le Pavillon, a luxury restaurant under the guidance of Chef Daniel Boulud. In this lush setting, designed by renowned Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, employees can indulge in fine cuisine while enjoying stunning views of Grand Central Station and Midtown Manhattan. This innovative approach might be key in enticing young talent to return to the office.


Young professionals often find themselves drawn to places and experiences with social media appeal. Eager to share their lives on Instagram and TikTok, they center outings, meals, and holidays around photogenic spots. So, why not work in an ‘Instagrammable’ office?

NYC locations are making sizable bets on such dazzling features as rooftop terraces and elevated gardens. It’s as if these office spaces were plucked right from an online influencer’s feed.

Take The Chrysler Building, for instance. It welcomes tenants to its lush terrace with captivating views of Manhattan. Meanwhile, One World Observatory and SUMMIT One Vanderbilt have embraced their roles as must-see attractions, pulling in the crowds with their stunning vistas.

Tech-Centric Office Spaces

To entice young, tech-savvy talent, landlords across Manhattan are infusing their Class A office buildings with Silicon Valley-style amenities. Although it’s tough to mimic the expansive campus mentality of Google or Apple in bustling Midtown or Downtown locales, owners draw inspiration from these tech giants, shaping offices where innovation and technology are key.

Office amenities are undergoing rapid transformations. Consider the Chrysler Building’s full-floor amenity level, ‘The Chrysler Club.’ The yoga and meditation room, conference center, lounge, and pantry with views of a landscaped terrace boast a holistic package. Such enhancements inch traditional New York City office buildings towards the campus-like models favored by West Coast tech companies. The same approach could fast-track the return to the office.

Prominent Properties and Their Offerings

While tech giants like Meta (formerly Facebook), Google, and Apple continue to invest heavily in amenities, commercial landlords see opportunity. With offices seeing less occupancy, more space becomes available for added features. Consequently, the experiences and luxuries offered at trophy office towers are forming an amenity tier in their own right.

Now, these properties can leverage their brand appeal to attract tenants. In the context of returning to the office, think of the Empire State Building, One Vanderbilt, Hudson Yards, or the reconstructed World Trade Center complex. Each of these iconic locations is poised to make its mark.

The Key Takeaway

In the face of a seismic shift in work culture, Manhattan landlords face a formidable task: coaxing the tech-savvy, flexible younger workforce back into offices. The answer lies in transforming office spaces into vibrant hubs catering to work, innovation, leisure, and socialization. They’re shifting gears to think outside the box, adopting multifaceted amenities that resonate with the younger demographic. The adaptability and resilience of Manhattan’s real estate sector are coming to the fore in these strategic moves.

Whether it’s Instagrammable spaces that echo an influencer’s feed or in-house culinary delights, the new office landscape seems designed with the younger generation in mind. With workplaces now offering world-class dining experiences, yoga spaces, and advanced technology, they are no longer mere places of work. The young talent’s return to the office in NYC, once a daunting uncertainty, now appears more likely. This evolving office paradigm is the catalyst that tips the balance.


Looking to redefine your workspace and create an environment that inspires young talent? Eager to foster innovation, collaboration, and productivity in a state-of-the-art Manhattan location? To explore dynamic office spaces tailored to the evolving needs of the new generation, connect with us at Metro Manhattan Office Space. Give us a call at (212) 444-2241 or drop us an email at [email protected]


Accessibility Tools