Return to Office?

The office industry claims to be gaining but the data largely says otherwise. Visits to shared office spaces are down nearly 10% since the start of June 2021. Some states, cities and brands have been hit harder than others.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in North America, two competing narratives about return to office have jostled for attention and authenticity. Depending on who you believe, either the traditional office is ready to die, or newer community-styled co-working spaces are set to boom.

We studied foot traffic patterns from June 1 to September 20 2021 for 11 operators of 755 shared office spaces all over the US. The brands we studied are CarrWorkplaces, Galvanize, General Assembly, Industrious, MakeOffices, Regus, Seren-dipity Labs, Spaces, TechSpace, The Yard and WeWork.

Some of these brands, e.g. Regus, fall into the mold of a large building serving a handful of enterprise clients in a setting with common amenities or points of access. Others, such as WeWork, are modern, purpose-built co-working spaces-slash-community hubs catering mostly to startups and entrepreneurs.

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