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Number of employees returning to the office varies significantly by city

Market Data

Number of employees returning to the office varies significantly by city

Workers want offices to have more opportunities for socialization, better technology, according to a new report.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | November 27, 2023
Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay - Number of employees returning to the office varies significantly by city
Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

While the return-to-the-office trend is felt across the country, the percentage of employees moving back to their offices varies significantly according to geography, according to Eptura’s Q3 Workplace Index.

The business software company’s most recent study compared the numbers of third quarter office desk bookings in 2022 to those tallied in 2023. The findings:

  • Dallas desk bookings grew 72% 
  • New York City desk bookings grew 58% 
  • Chicago desk bookings grew 52% 
  • San Francisco desk bookings grew 26%

Office occupancy is top of mind for many CEOs, with 74% of operational leaders reporting to their CEOs on occupancy metrics at least quarterly and 40% reporting to CEOs monthly. When asked what would make them want to use their workplace more, employees cited more opportunities for socialization and better technology. The top three most selected responses were:

  • More social areas such as cafes and outdoor spaces at 45%
  • Better technology like collaboration and scheduling software at 38%
  • More recreational areas like pool tables and table football at 34%

The survey also found that many organizations are adopting automation to enhance efficiency. The top uses for building systems automation were:

  • Lighting control to reduce energy consumption (87%)
  • Security systems to monitor and control access (83%)
  • HVAC systems to monitor temperatures and reduce energy costs (83%)
  • Fire and life safety systems to detect and respond to emergencies (74%)

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