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Federal Agencies Continue Lagging on Return-to-Office Efforts

Despite urging by the Biden administration and Congress to end pandemic-era telework policies, federal agencies have yet to reach their return-to-office objectives, the Real Estate Roundtable reported. Only about half of cabinet agencies have achieved the goal of workplace return by January 2024.

Real Estate Roundtable chair John Fish was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, expressing the industry’s concerns over stalled return to the workplace. Outside Washington, DC itself, “Other parts of the country with large federal workforces are also struggling to bring back workers,” Fish told the WSJ. “Whether you’re talking about downtown Boston, or Denver or Northern Virginia, occupancy is down substantially.”

JLL reported that despite the shift toward hybrid work and fewer in-office visits, federal and state governments are still hesitant to alter their space needs. In a recent JLL survey on hybrid work, only 10% of government clients said that most workers will transition to shared seating, significantly lower than 41% of private sector clients.

Additionally, JLL said 41% of government clients don’t anticipate any shared seating, compared to only 13% of private sector clients.

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