Office visits in key U.S. cities rose in May and June.
Foot traffic to office buildings in several key U.S. cities continues to rebound.
Workers piled into office buildings in New York City, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco in June, according to data from foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai’s Office Building Indexes. But the data also showed that visits are still down considerably from the pre-pandemic era.
Compared to last year, office buildings are humming. Placer.ai found that year-over-year visits were up 54.4%, 38.3%, 84.6%, and 31.2% in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston, respectively, Visits were up in each city in June compared to May also, with visits jumping 17% in NYC, 7.6% in Chicago, 19.3% in SF, and 5.1% in Boston.
If buildings hope to get back to pre-pandemic visit levels, however. there’s still a lot of work ahead, according to the report. Compared to June 2019, visits in June were still down considerably in NYC (down 33.5%), Chicago (down 40.9%), SF (down 60.4%), and Boston (down 24.6%).
“As the pandemic eases, returning to the office continues to be a fraught topic,” the report said. “Employees are finding that the benefits of working from home far outweigh those of coming into the office, and after two years of flexibility, employers will need to find a way to entice their employees to come back full time. While numbers are trending upward, and visit gaps are narrowing consistently, whether these trends will continue or level out remains to be determined.”
Placer.ai’s Office Building Indexes analyze foot traffic data from nearly 250 office buildings (53 in San Francisco, 72 in Manhattan, 50 in Boston, and 65 in Chicago). The company only includes commercial office buildings and commercial office buildings on the first floor. It does not include mixed-use buildings that are both residential and commercial.