Office Occupancy In New York Hits Highest Level Since Pandemic
USA – Data from Kastle Systems showed that office buildings in New York and other major cities reached their highest physical occupancy last week, reported Bloomberg on Wednesday (19 October, SGT).
During the week ended 12 October 2022, New York office properties monitored by the security company were 47.8 percent occupied compared to around 44 percent in the prior 2 weeks that each had a school holiday that kept staff at home.
The latest physical occupancy is the highest since early-March 2020, right before the authorities imposed COVID lockdowns. Kastle Systems’ 10-city average occupancy also rose to a post-pandemic high at 49 percent. It was bolstered by cities like Austin, where the office buildings are almost 66.6 percent full.
Aside from that, the number of passengers riding on buses and subways in New York City has increased as well. For instance, Metro-North’s trains that carry suburban commuters into the city were 74 percent full of their 2019 average ridership on 11 October, surpassing the 64 percent recorded on the same day in the preceding week.
However, office buildings in New York are still not at 50 percent occupancy, even though executives are getting more serious over the past few weeks on imposing return-to-office (RTO) mandates.
According to a broader analysis of US worker habits by a consortium of researchers led by Stanford University professor Nick Bloom, hybrid work arrangements are now the dominant set-up. Merely 33 percent of those who can work from home are now reporting in the office full time. On the other hand, almost 50 percent are on some form of hybrid work arrangement, while the remainder are fully remote.
Furthermore, Stanford data revealed that working from home is also more common in larger metropolises than in smaller cities and towns.