Americans work remotely as European and Asian employees return to the office

I can now see a big difference in my habits of going back to the office. Half of US workers are still working remotely compared to the majority of workers in Asia and Europe who have returned to the office.

US offices are still about half occupied three years after the pandemic hit, with occupancy rates between 40-60% of pre-2020 levels, depending on month and location. According to The Wall Street Journalcites data from JLL, a real estate services firm.

In Europe and the Middle East, office occupancy rates are at levels of 70-90%, while in Asia occupancy rates are between 80-110%, with some cities now reporting more people in offices than before the pandemic. JLL said.

The major American cities tracked by JLL have so far not achieved higher rates of return than those in Europe and Asia.

“The US has taken the brunt of this,” Phil Ryan, director of city futures at JLL, told The Wall Street Journal.

Americans are more likely than their international peers to work remotely and are reluctant to return to an office environment.

Larger living spaces on average, longer commutes and a tighter labor market are some of the reasons Americans spend less time in the office than their peers elsewhere, according to research. is suggested.

Americans enjoy working from home compared to peers abroad

For example, in Asia, cramped living conditions tend to affect work habits, while Americans tend to live in spacious homes with fewer domestic distractions.

In cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore, where most people live in small apartments and sometimes with large families, working from home is less efficient.

A higher percentage of US salaried workers living in suburbs, longer commutes, and unbearable traffic congestion combine to encourage more people to work from home.

On the other hand, mass transit systems in Europe and Asia are often more efficient and less prone to delays than those present in most metropolitan areas in the United States, making it easier to commute from home. Become.

The tech industry, which is disproportionately one of the largest employers in major US metropolitan areas, also tends to be far more tolerant of remote work.

A tight US labor market is another explanation for the trend towards remote work. The dire need for workers is forcing companies to look far away and hire remotely.

Ryan said European companies are also dealing with worker shortages, but American companies face more serious labor problems.

The US unemployment rate is currently at 3.4%, about half the European Union’s unemployment rate of 6.1%.

Meanwhile, WeWork, which offers urban coworking spaces, has been hit hard by new work trends, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The company reports that as of the fourth quarter of 2022, 72% of its space in New York is leased. This compares to 80% in Paris, 81% in London and 82% in Singapore.

Contradictory trends in working habits in Europe and Asia have benefited commercial landlords in these regions more than their American counterparts, as cities outside the United States are recovering at a faster pace.

Cities in Asia and Europe will have most workers back in the office by 2021 and 2021, accelerating the recovery of government finances and service sectors in these metropolitan areas, according to JLL.

According to JLL, Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore will have 75% occupancy by 2022, while Paris and Stockholm will both have similar occupancy rates.

US cities slow to recover as office commuters decline

This has had a direct impact on the economic recovery from the pandemic in major American cities, which were already suffering from an excess of vacant office space long before the pandemic.

Many American cities have had a surplus of available commercial space for years after decades of construction booms resulted in high vacancy rates. This has encouraged some local governments to convert office districts into apartments to revitalize them.

Leading U.S. companies had fewer people on each floor than their European and Asian counterparts well into 2019.

While declining commuters are hitting public transit revenues, other business districts in cities across the U.S., particularly those financially dependent on property taxes on commercial real estate, are struggling as well. doing.