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Busiest Day for Office Attendance Since March 2020 Reported

Busiest Day for Office Attendance Since March 2020 Reported
17 May 2022

Office occupancy in the UK recently reached its highest percentage since the start of the pandemic.

On Thursday 12 May 2022, office occupancy reached an average of 42 per cent, the highest national daily average since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 (60 per cent).

The findings come from The Freespace Index, which considers offices with an occupancy of more than 10 per cent actively open. The data is derived from over 140,000 sensors worldwide that measure building occupancy and environmental conditions. 

This news comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to rally for more people to attend the office in person, echoing cabinet colleague Jacob Rees-Mogg’s previous insistence that civil servants should reduce how much time they spend working from home.


Thursdays Most Popular Day to Attend the Office


Thursday continues to be the most popular day for visiting the office, according to Freespace data, with Tuesday not far behind.

The company also reported that 100 per cent of their client sites were open for the majority of the week commencing 9 May 2022, for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

“I’m confident that we won’t be reaching pre-pandemic levels of occupancy, at least for some time as conversations about utilising real estate have only just begun. However, after a short plateau in occupancy, numbers have shot back up this past week,” said Raj Krishnamurthy, CEO at Freespace.


Hybrid Working Means Discrepancy Between Offices Open and Occupancy


IWG revealed this week that it would pilot flexible office space within a Tesco supermarket in New Malden, pointing to a potential uptick in hybrid-based work. Raj agrees that traditional bricks and mortar office space is increasingly being used for “asynchronous” work:

“Our data has shown a huge discrepancy in the growing number of people in offices between Tuesday and Thursday compared to the eerily quiet Fridays. What is interesting is that our data has also shown the use of meeting rooms has also gone up. This reaffirms the belief that people are using the office to meet and collaborate and focussing on the more concentrated tasks at home.

“The discrepancy between offices open and occupancy is down to the simple fact that many organisations have embraced hybrid working models. People have been given more flexibility in their work. In a world where videoconferencing and remote working has become normal, asynchronised operations have proven not just workable but, in many ways, successful.”

Picture: a photograph of three people working at a table with laptops. Image Credit: PX Fuel

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 17 May 2022


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