News & Politics

It’s Likely Washington Will Be Working From Home Until Next Summer

72 percent of DC-area offices aren't planning to return in-person until next summer, says a survey.

Downtown in April 2020. Photograph by Elan Irving/iStock.
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You might as well go ahead and spring for that ergonomic chair. If you worked in a DC-area office in the Before Times, it’s likely you may not return until next summer, says a recent Greater Washington Partnership survey of 430 businesses in the Washington, Richmond, and Baltimore regions.

It seems many area groups are adopting a slow, phased approach to office returns: While a third of the workforce could be back in offices this fall, the survey found, 72 percent of offices with longer-term reopening plans said they planned on returning by next summer. But a third of those surveyed said they’re still unsure of their plans for summer 2021.

And when folks do return to the office, only 10 percent of groups surveyed said testing would be required for employees. Social distancing, capacity limits, and mask requirements are the precautions most likely to be implemented when offices re-open, the survey found.

An earlier survey conducted by the DowntownDC BID found that just five percent of employees whose offices are in downtown DC were physically working there at the end of July. The BID’s report says it expects office occupancy to be up by 20-to-25 percent by the end of 2020.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.