When it comes to workers returning to the office, three big Texas markets have a definite leg up on other major U.S. metro areas.
The "Back to Work Barometer" from workplace security firm Kastle Systems uses information gathered from keycard, fob and app data in 41,000 buildings nationwide to measure the percentage of employees working in-house.
The latest update found Austin, at 61.2%, had the highest back-in-office rate among the metro areas analyzed. Houston was second at 56.4%, while Dallas made it a clean sweep for Texas in the top three. The May 18 number for Dallas was 52.6%.
San Francisco, at 33.4%, brought up the rear in the most recent update, while San Jose was second from the bottom. The report also monitors office activity in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia.
Mike Slauson, Kastle Systems General Manager for Texas, said they found cities that rely more heavily on public transportation tend to have lower return-to-office rates. On the flip side, those that are more commuter-centric, like the Texas markets, consistently top the survey. Interestingly, Slauson said the recent record-high gasoline prices have generally not enticed employees to return to the work-from-home model in Dallas, Houston and Austin.
Asked if the office dynamic will ever return to levels seen before the pandemic, Slauson said, "I don't know if we'll ever get to the 100% we would see historically. Employers and employees are demanding more flexibility, and (many workers want) the work-life balance."
Among other nuggets mined from the data: Slauson said employees of IT-based companies are more likely to continue working from home, while the back-in-office numbers are significantly higher in the legal profession.
Slauson discussed the findings from the "Back to Work Barometer" with KRLD's Chris Sommer.
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