In the ongoing battle between bosses and workers over returning to the office, recent data shows more people are trudging back to the workplace.
In the first week following Labor Day, office usage in 10 major metro areas neared 50% of 2020’s pre-pandemic attendance, reports Kastle Systems, a key-card property management company that tracks entries into office buildings. There were more workers in the office last week than there have been since the pandemic started. However, in-office attendance is still lower than what it was before the virus outbreak.
The in-office numbers may be low since Kastle’s data doesn’t include many of the city’s biggest real estate owners, including large law firms, banks, financial services and Wall Street firms.
Separately, the Partnership for New York City, a business industry trade group, surveyed more than 160 major Manhattan office employers between August 29 and September 12 to take the pulse of how many employees returned to the office or are still working remotely.
Results indicate that 49% of Manhattan office workers are currently at the workplace on an average weekday—up from 38% in April. Under 10% of employees are in the office five days a week. The number of fully remote workers fell from 28% in April to 16% as of mid-September.
Train ridership is another indicator reflecting a return-to-office pickup after Labor Day. Many companies used the long weekend as the last gasp of freedom before ordering their employees back to headquarters.