The Return to Office Fades

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on the lack of movement in employees returning to the office as remote work remains a popular option, even as a number of states have outlined plans to roll back mask mandates.

Building security firm, Kastle Systems, reported declining office occupancy in January.

  • An average of 33% of the workforce came in the office in the first week of February.
  • This was down from 41% in the first week of December.
  • Movie theatres are at 58% of pre-pandemic levels.
  • Restaurants are at 75%.
  • Air travel is at 80%.
  • Attendance at NBA games was 93%.

Restaurants and bars in business districts are hurting more than those is residential areas. 3,400 restaurants in Massachusetts remain closed, mostly in downtown areas.

After close to 2 years of working from home, surveys suggest most employees prefer that option to avoid commutes and get greater flexibility over the work day. Studies have shown that productivity is just as high and managers are reluctant to insist employees return during a labor shortage.