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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ Why offices are still empty


At last week’s Power Breakfast on the future of downtown, there was a theme that kept coming up: There aren’t as many workers in offices as there were pre-pandemic. Panelists talked about giving employees a reason to come back in, suggesting “on-site is the new off-site” for employee retreats and other meetings. A Wall Street Journal article looked at what is holding up the return to the office right now. “Plenty of workers simply don’t feel like it. They’re dining at restaurants, going to movies and taking trips, but offices aren’t on their itinerary. That is delivering a reality check for bosses, who’ve been hoping the plunge in Covid-19 cases meant workers would finally — finally! — come back.” Some of it is due to pandemic concerns, but a lot of it is about choice. “As of this month, 61% of U.S. workers who telecommute most of the time are doing so by choice, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. Among this group, more than three-quarters simply said they prefer working from home.”

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