Lackluster Occupancy Growth; Landlords Left With More to be Desired

Access Control Data Shows Most Cities See Modest Growth in Occupancy

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 2,600 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.

The 10-city Back to Work Barometer dropped 0.3 percentage points to 39.5% last week. Half the cities on the Barometer fell slightly or held steady, while half experienced small increases in occupancy. New York and Houston, for example, fell 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively, to 34.5% and 52.3%, while Austin TX, however, rose 1 point, to lead the Barometer at 58.3% open.

The legal industry occupancy average rose 0.8 percentage points this past week to reach 67.5%. Law Firms in Washington, D.C. experienced a 2.8-point surge in occupancy during the past week, rising to 56.9%.

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 generate 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.