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Austin Tops U.S. Cities in Return to Office Numbers


When lists of fastest-growing American cities are published, Austin, Texas, is a regular on the list. 

The state capital of Texas is also one of the best cities in the country in terms of employees returning to the office after two-plus years of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A New York Times article profiled why Austin offices are more than 60 percent full according to information from Kastle Systems, an office-security firm that monitors comings and goings of employees by badge swipes. 

The return-to-office statistic does not include government workers at the state capital who have returned to the office.  

Austin crushes the national percentages, the Kastle Systems report revealed. Austin’s 60 percent is about 20 percent better than the percentage of the 10 largest U.S. markets, which is around 40 percent. 

Dallas was measured at 49 percent occupancy and San Jose, California, was measured at 31 percent, the lowest attendance rate among the large market cities measured. 

The article analyzed the reasons why Austin has been more successful in bringing people back to the office, and perks such as healthier food options and leisure activities weren’t the main reasons. 

A hiring boom in Austin that’s seen the city add more than 80,000 jobs since the pandemic started in February 2020. Many of those jobs are in the tech, finance and professional service industries as well as advanced manufacturing, all of which require more in-person work. 

Shorter and easier commutes are also among the reasons that Austin ranks so high on the list. 

Dave Lubach is managing editor of the Facility Market. 

 

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