Major Global Financial Hubs Still Aren't Seeing Employees Returning To The Office

Some of the world's most well-known financial centers are still slow to get back to the office, despite the fact that many Covid restrictions globally have been lifted. 

Workplace activity in major cities like New York, London, and San Francisco is still about 50% below pre-pandemic levels, according to a new report by Bloomberg. Other cities like Frankfurt and Hong Kong also remain less active than prior to the pandemic, as measured by office space use and use of local transit. 

Businesses are dealing with pressure from employees to transition to a more "work from home" model and the complications of making sure that those who do turn up back to the offices are vaccinated and not spreading the virus at the workplace. 

In Frankfurt, bars and cafes are open again, but "the financial district continues to be eerily deserted, with only the occasional worker entering or leaving one of the city’s many high-rise buildings," the report notes. Mobility data provided by Google for the region suggests activity is down about 17% from prior to the pandemic, despite Frankfurt being one of Europe's busiest hubs. 

Slow vaccine rollouts have made it difficult for life to return back to normal in the German city. 

In London, the city is dealing with the spread of the delta variant, which forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to postpone the reopening of the city until July. This means that banks like Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs have had to pause their plans to get staff back to their desks.

It has also dealt yet another blow to the city's restaurants, pubs, and retailers.

Traffic in the Square Mile had begun to pick up prior to Johnson's recent announcement, according to location data compiled by Mapbox.

Hong Kong currently has "most workers" back at their desks. The question is whether or not they're going to be able to stay there.

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