Latest Return to Work/Transit Survey Shows New Habits Getting Locked In
Since April 2021, the Bay Area Council has been collecting data from the Bay Area’s biggest employers on their return to work plans in order to better understand commute patterns and the region’s recovery overall. The results of the latest bi-monthly Return to Work survey show that we have mostly already arrived at our “new normal” with 80% of companies stating that they’ve already started to bring non-essential employees back to the office and 68% of companies stating that they have already fully implemented their return to work plans.
So what does our “new normal” look like, and what does that mean for the future of the Bay Area? The Return to Work survey data tells us that most all employers have adopted a hybrid work environment, with 56% of employees coming into the workplace at least one day a week and up to four days per week, primarily on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. 24% of survey respondents stated that their employees are fully remote, compared to just 5.8% in 2019, a percentage that was on par with the national average at that time. Survey results additionally show that only 33% of employees are taking transit to work, and this could be because results also consistently reveal that a large number of employers are concerned with their employees’ personal safety when commuting via public transportation to and from work. In the most recent survey, a startling 71% of survey respondents stated that they are “somewhat” or “very concerned” with their employees’ safety on transit, with a 4% increase in respondents stating that they are “very concerned” as compared to the last round of the survey. However, there is hope on the horizon.
In response to changing commute patterns and concerns surrounding transit safety, cleanliness, and reliability, transit agencies are making new service and routes changes, as well as safety and cleanliness improvements to make it easier than ever for commuters, residents, and tourists to come to the region’s city centers. You can hear from transit operators directly on these changes and more during a virtual briefing on Friday, March 3rd at 10:00am. Join us to hear important new updates to BART and MUNI service that will make it faster, easier, and more comfortable to return to the region’s city centers, whether it’s for work or for play. To register, click here.
To see the full January 2023 Return to Work survey results, click here.
For questions, comments, and information on how to participate in next month’s Return to Work survey, contact Vice President of Public Policy Emily Loper.