Texas leads nation’s post-pandemic return to office

Attendance hit nearly 60 percent on some days in January

Office market, Return
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

The number of workers back in the office has passed 50 percent across the U.S., the Dallas Morning News reported, citing data from Kastle Systems. Dallas is ahead of the trend with occupancy reaching nearly 60 percent on certain days in January.

The report also found that Austin had almost 68 percent of its office employees back at their desks and Houston’s attendance rate hit 60 percent. Kastle analyzes office buildings’ mechanical systems to measure how many employees report to the physical office in person.

“I believe that a higher percentage of workers in DFW are back in the office than the stats are showing,” Cushman & Wakefield vice chairman Robbie Baty told the outlet. “Because Dallas has been a ‘back-in-the-office’ culture since early in the pandemic, and most of the office tenants have local leadership, the majority of workers have returned.”

During the peak of the pandemic’s shutdowns, office occupancy in the Dallas area dropped to less than 12 percent in April 2020. While the office market has been slow to recover, Dallas has been steadily bouncing back.

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“Most people are doing three to four days in the office,” Jennifer Scripps, with economic development group Downtown Dallas Inc., told the outlet. “That gets you to between 60 and 80 percent. Mondays are still markedly quieter, and Fridays feel a little bit quieter.”

Dallas/Fort Worth was named the top CRE market in the nation last year, and the city’s 10 largest office sales raked in over $1.58 billion.

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(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
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Uptown and Downtown trading places in DFW office market

Victoria Pruitt