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First time since the outbreak began, offices are more than 50% full.

A Positive Sign for the Economy

by Camille Davis
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First time since the outbreak began, offices are more than 50% full.

After almost three years since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, the American office atmosphere is slowly beginning to heal. For the first time since March 2020, according to data from security swipe tracker Kastle Systems, the occupancy percentage of offices in ten major US cities has surpassed the 50.4% threshold. At this time, several workplaces sent staff members home as a preventative step against the virus’s spread.

Employees are still not consistently coming back to the workplace every day, despite the higher occupancy rate. Fridays had the lowest occupancy rate, while Tuesdays have the highest, according to Kastle Systems. Despite this, occupancy rates exceeding 40% have already been observed in all ten of the cities that the security swipe tracker monitors.

Major corporations are now taking tougher measures against workers who are reluctant to come back to work. For instance, Disney has mandated that all corporate staff members report to work four days a week as of March 1. Three days a week is now the standard workweek at Starbucks. Contrarily, Apple has mandated that its corporate employees work at least three days a week, which has generated unrest among some staff members. As of this month, the parent company of Snapchat has mandated that employees spend 80% of their time in the office, or four days a week.

Not all businesses, meanwhile, are planning to compel their workers to return to work any time soon. Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon, has said that the company has no intentions to have its workers report back to work.

On the other hand, some YouTube contractors are protesting what they view as unfair return-to-office policies by going on strike. The Alphabet Workers Union is supporting the walkout, which is being participated in by over 40 contractors for YouTube Music who are employed by a different business called Cognizant. The contractors are requesting that Google and Cognizant change their in-office procedures to be more accommodating, especially for employees who are based outside of Texas and were initially employed as remote workers. Axios reported the strike, stating that the contractors decided to go on strike after being told to go at a location in Austin on Monday. Google opted against making a statement.


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