With coronavirus vaccinations expanding nationwide to all adults later this month, business leaders are anticipating an acceleraton in the return to the office. Kastle’s Back-to-Work Barometer has tracked this phenomenon in 10 major cities nationwide over the past year, revealing regional and industry differences in return to the office. A fresh review of access to office buildings finds the legal industry consistently exceeds the average while tracking overall patterns.
With extensive depth in the legal industry securing 49 firms of the AmLaw100, Kastle Systems, the country’s largest managed security services provider to commercial businesses, is sharing anonymized aggregated access data from Kastle-secured businesses in the legal industry to better understand office occupancy patterns following COVID-19.
Compared to the 10-city average on the Kastle Back to Work Barometer, the legal industry is returning to the office at rates 10% points higher than other businesses. A spotlight on Washington, D.C., New York City, Houston and Chicago reveal similar patterns.
“In talking with our law firm clients, we are hearing many factors that have made remote work more challenging for this sector, including paper heavy office systems and generally being slower to adopt new technologies,” Kastle CEO Haniel Lynn said. “In looking at a return to the office, these and other workplace factors could also come into play.”
Association of Legal Administrators Executive Director April Campbell, JD, agrees and adds “For many of our members, some firms never closed at the beginning of the pandemic. Different local government guidance on what workers were deemed essential meant that in some cities, that sometimes included law firms. There have also been concerns about the ability to onboard new employees and conduct new associate training remotely, so we’re seeing law firms in the office at higher rates.”
Like the Kastle Back to Work Barometer, Kastle will be releasing updates to the legal industry data weekly on its website and LinkedIn. Through the Kastle Back to Work Barometer, Kastle has been tracking the anonymized activity of 341,000 unique office credential holders in major cities, 31,582 of which are in the legal industry and featured in this analysis.