As coronavirus numbers dwindle and some officials begin calling for a fourth COVID-19 shot, more and more people previously working at home after being kicked out of shuttered office buildings are returning to the bullpen.
The National Association of Realtors reports that more than 80% of metro areas in the United States have seen an increase in in-person working.
Boston saw the largest office occupancy growth over the past year. Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. have the most open space.
NAR researcher Scholastica Cororaton says office occupancy is also increasing in areas with a big tech presence. San Jose, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle lead those areas.
“The rising occupancy in these tech metro areas indicates that tech companies are contributing to the demand for office space,” Cororaton wrote. “Even as nationally, 45% of mathematical and computer workers work from home for at least some part of the time.”
The way companies are returning to work vary and are sparking anger. For instance, Google employees must now be in the office three days a week. On the other hand, Apple begins its return to office plan next week. It starts with employees coming back one day a week which will eventually grow to two days and then three days a week. Apple employees have revolted against the idea and are have threatened to quit.
Many in leadership are pleased with the return to the office to boost productivity and collaboration. However, employees are finding they’re showing up in person to just log in to Zoom again, which has stirred up even more frustration.
On top of the redundancy of work that could be done at home, a study shows only 3% of white-collar employees want to work in the office all week. 86% want to stay home for at least a few days.
Plus, the return to the office drives up costs, with gas prices seeing soaring and inflation at a 40-year-high.
Since the second half of 2021, 30 million square feet of office space has been taken up, however, about 100 million square feet remain.
NAR reports filling that space up again could take through the end of 2024.