Office space in Manhattan is seeing a slower return to the office than the other three largest U.S. office markets, Los Angeles and Chicago.
According to anonymized data from card-swipe technology company Brivo, the week before most companies sent their employees to work from home in March 2020, office use had already started falling.
During the second week of stay-at-home orders, Manhattan saw their office use fall to 17% of the average and 21% in Chicago. However, Los Angeles office use never fell below 41% of 2020’s first quarter average.
From the first week of 2021 and the week of June 28, office use grew by 27% in Chicago, 22% in Los Angeles, but barely by 20% in Manhattan. However, as of the week of July 12, Manhattan’s office use stayed at just 41% of its pre-pandemic numbers, while Chicago was at 47% and Los Angeles was at 66%.
At the moment, Covid-19 cases are once again surging in the U.S. mainly due to the Delta variant and slowed vaccination rates. However, this may not impact office use as proved in the past. For instance, Los Angeles reimposed a stay-at-home order last December and still saw office use numbers grow.