The rate of people returning to downtown San Francisco’s offices has been slow, but the number is increasing. There are a number of indicators that show that office buildings and transit systems are being used more frequently this year. In office buildings, overall utilization stands at 45% of pre-pandemic levels. This is according to Kastle Data Systems, tracking the number of workers entering and leaving representative buildings through keycard swipes.
Public transportation, including the Golden Gate Ferry and BART, has seen a slow recovery. The Golden Gate Ferry has seasonal growth with increased traffic during the summer months. At this peak, the Golden Gate Ferry stands at 50% of its pre-pandemic level.
In-office mandates by Bay Area employers have led to increased downtown activity. One notable company with updated requirements is Google. The company announced a three-day work schedule which employees would be affected in their performance review if they do not abide by. Other companies are offering incentives to encourage employees to come to the office. Salesforce is donating to charity for every employee who goes to work every day over two weeks.
While there are increases in office activity, levels still remain below pre-pandemic levels. As leases expire, companies are downsizing. Even those with long-term leases are subleasing extra space.
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