Businesses in Dallas are shaking off their work-from-home policies to send their white-collar workers back to the office.
Dallas is among the country’s top markets where workers are required to work on-site rather than remotely. Roughly 54% of businesses in the metroplex are sending office workers back to their desks, according to a recent report by the commercial property firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).
Nationwide, the return-to-office rate is roughly 47%, meaning almost half of all businesses in the country have, in some ways, ended their relaxed stay-at-home work environment.
Although businesses are not sending office workers back for the full five days a week, they are moving more towards a hybrid schedule. The top 3 markets in Texas for hybrid schedules are Dallas, Austin, and Houston, according to JLL.
In 2023, JLL predicts that 65% of office workers will be back in the office most of the week.
“Hybrid is here to stay,” said Cribb Altman, managing director at JLL. “One thing COVID has taught us is people can be productive from home, but there is still a purpose of the office from a collaborative standpoint.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic mostly over, many office tenants have redesigned their employee spaces to create more stimulating and enjoyable work environments, knowing that office workers dread the inevitable return to normal.
“You have to give employees a reason to come back,” Altman said. “The environment the building creates is important.”
Considering that Dallas-Fort Worth is ranked one of the top markets for office developments and business parks, it is no surprise that office leasing in the metroplex has rebounded over the last 18 months.
DFW had a record 1.1 million square feet leased during the second quarter of 2022, with the strongest demand reported in Uptown Dallas, West Plano, Frisco, and Las Colinas.
“In Dallas — in particular, south of LBJ Freeway — office buildings feel substantially occupied,” said Blake Shipley, JLL managing director, who told DMN that the state’s pro-business policies have been significant drivers of this trend.
“Some of the things that have made us attractive as a state and a region from a business perspective,” Shipley said, “is that Texas leads the country in office worker occupancy,”