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Offices across the US are at least half full for the first time since before the pandemic, new data shows

Offices across the US are at least half full for the first time since before the pandemic, new data shows

Workers from over 41,000 businesses across 10 major metropolitan areas were in offices over half the time for the first time since March 2020.
Offices have reached a milestone of employees returning to offices, with a recent report finding workplaces are now at least half full for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

Three years after the pandemic drove workers across America to home offices and Zoom meetings, employees are increasingly returning to in-person work settings. According to security card swipe data from Kastle Systems, occupancy rates at over 2,600 buildings monitored by the company across 10 major metropolitan areas averaged 50.4% for one week in late January — the highest rate since before the onset of COVID-19.

Unsurprisingly, the data found offices have varying rates of occupancy throughout the week, as many workers still come into offices less than five days a week.

Tuesday was the biggest day for working in offices between January 19 and 25, with the 10 cities averaging 58.6% occupancy. Friday was the least common day for working in offices, with an average of just 34.9%, per Kastle's findings.

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, Kastle Systems data showed office occupancy averaging near 100% Monday through Thursday, and only dipping below 90% on Friday.

Texas is the most popular state for working in offices, as the three metro areas in the sample located in Texas — Houston, Austin, and Dallas — had the highest average occupancy rates at 60.3%, 67.7%, and 53.5%, respectively, the data showed.

While Kastle's data is anonymous and provides no insights about the average age of workers, Insider has previously reported on recent studies that paint a conflicting picture about whether younger workers prefer working remotely or in an office.

Last summer, Insider's Aki Ito spoke to several Gen Z employees who prefer to work in an office, and one who had taken a job specifically because it required employees to attend weekly in-office meetings.

Some of the largest companies in the US, and some of the most powerful CEOs are divided on the topic of allowing remote work or requiring employees work at least a few days a week in an office.

The CEOs of Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan have said remote work is a solution for some, but not all, and larger companies like Disney and Starbucks have recently updated their requirements for employees to work in offices at least a few days per week.
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