Part 1: Return to the Office Series - Predicting the Return to the Office


CURRENT STATE Who’s currently at the office? In the first week of April 2020, as the first wave of COVID-19 began impacting the U.S., office utilization dropped to under one-fifth of its previous norms. Since then, employee in-office attendance has followed a logical pathway—that is, steadily increasing when new infections fell to lower levels, decreasing when new infections spiked. The vaccination programs started in December 2020 but became more readily available to the general public in March and April 2021. As vaccination rates increased, employees began to return to the office in larger numbers. Employee occupancy hit a peak of 35% in late July but receded slightly as the Delta variant spread in August. 4 As of September 15, 2021, employee in-office attendance sits at an average of 34% across 10 markets 5 tracked by Kastle Access Control Systems. Employees are coming back to the office to a greater degree in markets that are less dense and where government regulations have been more limited. For example, three Texas cities are at or above 40%, while San Francisco is at half of that at 21%.

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