Trio of Texas Triangle cities among national leaders in return-to-office

About 60% of Austin-area office workers were back at their desk by end of September, compared with 47% nationwide

Dallas Skyline
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

The Texas Triangle— Dallas, Austin and Houston— are among the leading markets in office workers returning to the office

At the end of September, about 61 percent of Austin-area office workers were back at their desk, the Dallas Morning News reports, based on a JLL report that tracked 10 top metro markets. Houston checked in at 58 percent, with Dallas at 54 percent.

Nationwide, about 47 percent of office workers had returned, with New York about at the national average and San Francisco last on the list at 39 percent.

JLL predicts that by early next year, 65 percent of office workers across the U.S. should be back at their desk for a majority of the week.

“Hybrid is here to stay,” said JLL managing director Cribb Altman. “One thing COVID has taught us is people can be productive from home, but there is still a purpose of the office from a collaborative standpoint.”

Many Dallas-area office tenants have used this year to upgrade or redesign their employee spaces to encourage workers to return.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

JLL's Cribb Altman (JLL)

JLL’s Cribb Altman (JLL)

“You have to give employees a reason to come back,” Altman said. “The environment the building creates is important.”

Dallas-Fort Worth office leasing has rebounded in the last 18 months. According to DMN, many companies that put off their leasing decisions are now moving forward with either expanding or reducing their workspace. More than 1.1 million square feet of net leasing was recorded in the second quarter alone. The strongest demand for office space was in the Dallas North Tollway corridor in West Plano and Frisco, in Uptown Dallas and Las Colinas.

“In Dallas — in particular south of LBJ Freeway — office buildings feel substantially occupied,” says Blake Shipley, JLL managing director, who told DMN that the state’s pro-business policies have been big drivers of this trend.

Read more

— Maddy Sperling