• Mon. May 20th, 2024

More Employees Showing Up in the Office Sparks Optimism in JLL’s CEO


Jun 13, 2023
JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich told CNBC he believes more employees soon will return to the office. (CoStar)


More employees across the country are showing up in the office, albeit slowly, and that’s got JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich expressing optimism for that property type.

In an appearance last week on CNBC’s “Last Call,” the host set up his interview with the head of the major commercial property brokerage by saying about 50% of companies sought less real estate or office space in recent years. Ulbrich responded from a glass half full perspective.

“You just quoted that 50% think they will decrease, well that leaves another 50% which will probably increase, or stay the same,” Ulbrich said.

Ulbrich also said the worst has passed when it comes to office vacancy, as more workers start new jobs. “Employment is growing in the U.S. You will see, now, some companies who have declined their footprint around employees but other are increasing it already,” Ulbrich said. “I think we have seen the worst behind us.”

Texas has been the top state for some time, in terms of percentage of employees who have returned to the office, according to data compiled by Kastle Systems, the provider of key-swipe building security equipment.

As far as cities, Austin had ranked No. 1 in the country, moving up to 66.4% of employees having returned to office at the time of the interview. Houston was a close second at 65.9%. Dallas was third in Texas and fourth nationwide with a 60.5% return-to-office rate. All numbers, compiled by Kastle Systems, compared recent office occupancy with pre-pandemic levels.

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