York Property Company
Corporate Real Estate | Tenant Representation


Security Technology firm Kastle Systems “Back to Work Barometer,” based on anonymous keycard data from clients’ office properties in 10 large U.S. regions, rebounded from the previous week’s 45.6% average but stayed below the peak 50.4% reached in the week ended Jan. 25.

What does this mean? It means that in many large cities, especially urban cores, only half of all employees are actually in the office at any given time.

This is not a good trend for the overall health of the U.S. office market, nor is it a good trend for productivity.

Most studies have concluded that decision making is more effective when there are teams of employees working together, in person. Zoom and Microsoft Teams virtual meetings only go so far.

The steady erosion of employees on site, in person, has had spillover affects on urban commercial businesses, resulting in large increases in retail vacancies which are showing very slow signs of recovery.

As leases rollover, larger corporations are often downsizing their square footage to reflect the decreased office usage, while seeking out buildings that have had significant refurbishment, and that offer high end amenities. In other words, doing anything they can to encourage employees to report back to work regularly. Less square footage, albeit at higher rental rates, resulting in net occupancy costs that remain consistent.

The time has come for larger employers to stop coddling their employees and demand in person attendance and engagement.

Mass layoffs in the tech sector have demonstrated that it is time for companies to “right size” by trimming the fat, so to speak. “Play time” should be over.

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