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The Rise of the One-Day Workweek for Office Commuters

A full 50 percent of office visits globally were just once a week in the second quarter, up from 44 percent in the first quarter, according to data from Basking.io, a workplace-occupancy analytics company. At the same time, fewer people made the commute four to five days a week, especially in large cities.

(Bloomberg)—The number of people coming into the office once a week has soared in recent months as employers from Apple Inc. to Peloton set deadlines for their return.

A full 50% of office visits globally were just once a week in the second quarter, up from 44% in the first quarter, according to data from Basking.io, a workplace-occupancy analytics company. At the same time, fewer people made the commute four to five days a week, especially in large cities.

Recession fears have many wondering whether a return-to-office crackdown might be around the corner. Major companies like Tesla Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are at the forefront of this effort, and even bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell has said people need to be in the office to have a “sense of belonging.” Yet, many employees still feel comfortable ignoring mandates in the tight labor market, with the demand for workers far outpacing the supply.

“Even with most firms implementing a ‘three days in the office hybrid policy,’ most employees prefer visiting the office just once a week,” Eldar Gizzatov, Basking.io’s chief executive officer, wrote in the report. “The pandemic has accustomed people to work remotely and there is not a concrete reason in most professions to return to the offices.”

While the number of days workers were in the office fell, the the duration of visits rose, according to ​​Basking.io, which analyzed Wi-Fi data from 100 offices of seven organizations around the world to measure changes in office space utilization.

Work-from-home habits are settling into industry-specific patterns. About 55% of workers are in-person full-time, mostly those in frontline jobs like retail, food service, and manufacturing, according to separate research from Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom. Roughly 30% have hybrid arrangements, typically managers and professionals, while 15% of workers are fully remote, largely in support roles like payroll and information technology.

To contact the author of this story: Jo Constantz in New York at [email protected]

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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