The vaccination rollout here in the U.S. has brought with it a slow return to normalcy. Fans are finally packing the stands at baseball games, restaurants are crowded, and employees are returning to their offices – well, not quite yet.  The chart below highlights the slow trickle of employees back to their desks by the number of key card swipes in the ten largest U.S. cities. Certainly, offices in major metropolises have a unique set of challenges not found in more suburban settings, but we were struck by just how anemic the return has been. 
Source: TCW, Kastle Systems

In meeting with our money managers and numerous clients that run businesses, the post-lockdown workplace is a topic of frequent conversation. It has been fascinating to discuss their timelines for getting employees back to the office and how they plan to incorporate working remotely in the future. What has been consistent is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Time will tell if attendance to physical offices returns to more normalized levels or if the pandemic has created a secular shift in the way we think about how and where we work. 

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