Average office occupancy levels reached 34.7% last week, the third-highest weekly figure recorded since the start of the pandemic with an increase of 3.6 percentage points from the previous week, according to research from Remit Consulting.
The national average was boosted by London’s West End market, with a weekly average occupancy rate of 61.9%, outperforming the City and Docklands markets, which recorded 31.1% and 40.6% respectively.
Lorna Landells of Remit Consulting commented, “The improved figures follow a week that saw some industrial action on the railways, and we have previously recorded uplifts in the figures following rail strikes as staff try to catch up with time at their desks and face-to-face meetings in the office.
“However, this is a significant improvement on the previous six weeks that saw a national average occupancy rate of offices of 30.8% and will be seen as good news by investors, landlords and those businesses reliant on trade from office workers such as retailers and food & beverage operators,” she added.
Remit Consulting’s data confirms that midweek remains the favoured time for office attendance, with national rates peaking at an average of 43.1% on Tuesday, 40.8% on Wednesday and 39.8% on Thursday, before falling to just 19.9% on Friday 13th.
Research carried out before the pandemic suggested office occupancy rates ranged between 60% and 80%, influenced by elements such as holidays, employee absences, and external meetings.
The Return Report is compiled by Remit Consulting weekly and is based on data provided by building managers from office buildings in major cities around the UK, many in central and prime locations. The data is obtained from the buildings’ access control systems, providing an overview of the number of staff and visitors entering a property on weekdays. This is presented as a percentage of the capacity of each building.