Home / News / World /  Offices are mostly 50% filled since pandemic as employers are pushing for ‘return-to-office’

For the first time since the pandemic, American offices saw more than half of their seats filled bringing more hope for a return to office culture. In fact, in the 10 major US cities, the office occupancies crossed 50.4% of pre-pandemic levels, a CNN report cited. 

The companies are trying to encourage employees to return to offices and have also begun to crack down on employees who are reluctant to come back. 

For example, Disney directed employees to be in the office four days a week beginning March 1. For Starbucks (SBUX), it is a three-day-a-week office schedule.

Though the return to office has been taken positively by most employees, many are also vehemently protesting against it. Tension sparked with some Apple (AAPL) employees as the company asked its staffers to return to the office. Then, a few YouTube contractors are likely to start a protest later this week citing unreasonable return-to-office policies that could force many of them to relocate from other states.

According to the Alphabet Workers Union, roughly a quarter of the striking workers are based outside of Texas, and a majority of the contractors had been initially hired as remote workers. “On average, YouTube music workers are paid $19 an hour and cannot afford the relocation, travel or childcare costs associated with in-person work," the group said on its Facebook page. “The upcoming return to office date threatens the livelihoods of workers who do not live in the Austin area."

All big tech companies and banks are also slowly moving towards returns to office but many are not considering it immediately. Amazon (AMZN) CEO Andy Jassy isn’t looking to force the company’s workers back into the office anytime soon, saying in September that it “doesn’t have a plan to require people to come back."

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