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Return to Office: Which Markets are Seeing the Biggest Bounce Back?

Caroline Wu
Jun 16, 2023
Return to Office:  Which Markets are Seeing the Biggest Bounce Back?

Nationwide, return-to-office is up +8% YoY as of May 2023. However, to provide some context to how office visits fared pre-pandemic, we looked at four years prior. Comparing Yo4Y, we see that the Nationwide RTO metric is at -38% Yo4Y (it's important to note that the number of visitors returning to the office has outpaced the number of visits due to hybrid work weeks).  Miami has bounced back the most compared to pre-Covid, only down -31% when comparing May 2023 to May 2019.  It is followed by NYC (-32% Yo4Y) and Boston (-38% Yo4Y).  San Francisco is the office market that still has the most to recover.  It is down -56% Yo4Y.

In looking at the seasonality of RTO foot traffic YoY, we see the largest bumps in January 2023.  This could be due to the Omicron variant that kept people home in Jan 2022, thus leading to the larger variance.

When looking at seasonality for Yo4Y trends, we do see that they tend to be market-specific.  For instance, NYC saw higher Yo4Y return-to-office in June 2022, gradually kept dipping until Oct/Nov 2022, had a bump in Dec 2022, and dipped a bit in April 2023.  Miami had a high rate of RTO in June 2022, decreased and flattened in the fall, also saw a bump in Dec 2022, decreased and flattened in Jan/Feb 2023, rose in March 2023, and dipped a bit in April 2023.

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Caroline Wu

Director of Research,

Caroline brings expertise in retail, CRE, entertainment, media, CPG, and tourism, and specializes in synthesizing broad datasets into actionable recommendations for growth. She has worked as the US Director of Consumer Insights at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, VP of Retail Insights and Intelligence at Omnicom, and Senior Director at Kantar. Caroline holds an MA in Sociology from Stanford University and a BA in International Relations from Stanford University.

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