Getting America Back to Work

Americans have been living through a period of intense uncertainty since March 2020 — struggling with an unprecedented pandemic and the economic distress it has caused.

To provide some clarity on the issues facing American businesses, Kastle Systems has been studying keycard, fob and KastlePresence app access data from the 3,600 buildings and 41,000 businesses we secure across 47 states. We’re analyzing the anonymized data to identify trends in how Americans are returning to the office.

Workplace Occupancy Barometer Workplace Occupancy Barometer Graph

You can now track the Return to Work Barometer on the Bloomberg Terminal, available under (ALLX KASL<GO>)

Kastle Access Control Data Shows Notable Growth in Building Occupancy Nationwide

Americans have been living through a period of intense uncertainty since March 2020 — struggling with an unprecedented pandemic and the economic distress it has caused.

To provide some clarity on the issues facing American businesses, Kastle Systems has been studying keycard, fob and KastlePresence app access data from the 3,600 buildings and 41,000 businesses we secure across 47 states. We’re analyzing the anonymized data to identify trends in how Americans are returning to the office.

Every city measured on the Barometer saw building occupancy rates rise last week, moving the 10-city national average up to 25.9%, a 1.9% increase from the week before. Houston experienced the most growth, up 4% from the week before, bringing the Texas city’s rate up to 38.7% — the third highest occupancy rate on the Barometer.

Two other Texas cities, Dallas and Austin, also saw notable rises in building occupancy last week, now up to 41% and 39.4%, respectively. They are currently leading as the two most open cities on the Barometer, following by Houston. Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York all experienced 1.9% growth from the week before, bringing their occupancy rates up to 26.5%, 20.9%, and 15.4%, respectively.

We’re confident occupancy rates will continue to rise in the months to come, and we’re ready to help the transition happen. For American workers to return safely back into office buildings, there must be a comprehensive system in place that integrates technology and new safety protocols both for the building and for tenant spaces. We’re keeping a close eye on this data as part of our KastleSafeSpaces framework, which we designed to help office buildings safely reopen.

Methodology

Kastle’s reach of buildings, businesses and cardholders secured generates millions of access events daily as users enter office complexes, and individual company workspaces. Charted percentages reflect unique authorized user entries in each market relative to a pre-COVID baseline, averaged weekly.*

*On March 22, 2021, Kastle moved from daily to weekly data reporting to provide a more robust and comprehensive picture of office occupancy. We have also recalculated data back to the start of the time series for consistency. This has only a marginal impact on most cities and the national average.

Legal Industry Return to Office Outpaces Broader Commercial Office Average As Tracked by Kastle Systems Back to Work Barometer

Anonymized aggregated occupancy data indicates when and where the legal industry is returning to offices

With coronavirus vaccinations expanding nationwide to all adults later this month, business leaders are anticipating an acceleration in the return to the office. Kastle’s Back to Work Barometer has tracked this phenomenon in ten major cities nationwide over the past year, revealing regional and industry differences in return to the office. A fresh review of access to office buildings finds the legal industry consistently exceeds the average, while tracking overall patterns.

With extensive depth in the legal industry securing 49 firms of the AmLaw100, Kastle Systems, the country’s largest managed security services provider to commercial businesses, is sharing anonymized aggregated access data from Kastle-secured businesses in the legal industry to better understand office occupancy patterns following COVID-19.

Compared to the ten-city average on the Kastle Back to Work Barometer, the legal industry is returning to the office at rates 10 percentage points higher than other businesses. A spotlight on Washington, D.C., New York City, Houston and Chicago reveal similar patterns. Read the full press release

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