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Return-to-office is flattening as companies navigate employee pushback, commutes, higher gas prices

Following the Omicron variant peak this past winter, a moment was seized upon by many U.S. companies. After many fits and starts, it was time for their employees to return to the office, at least a couple of days a week.

Companies that track office utilization and physical occupancy reported a gradual uptick in office usage this spring, as companies began to figure out the new hybrid work balance. Some have set which days those are; others, wanting to lean into the newly discovered work of flexible work, have given workers choice on when they want to come in.

But after an uptick observed this spring, office-space usage has mostly flattened in the past several weeks, prompting the question of whether current space usage is the actual new normal, or whether more ground will be made up in the coming months.

Boston-based workplace platform Robin Powered Inc. tracks office-space usage via aggregating desk-booking metrics across its customer base, which chiefly includes companies that’ve adopted hybrid-work models. The week of April 25, the percentage of available desk space being used in offices was at 21%, certainly a material rise from the 6% seen Jan. 10. Since then, it’s hovered in the low 20% range, dipping to 17% the week of May 30 before rising to 20% again the week of June 6 and June 13.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

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