SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Lunchtime in downtown San Francisco is still missing the pace it had in a pre-pandemic world, but it is starting to pick back up.
“October-November have actually picked up quite a bit,” said Lauren Negi. “We’re pretty happy with the progress we’ve made so far.”READ MORE: Napa Valley Looks to Restaurant Week to Help Jump-Start Economic Comeback
Negi owns the fast casual breakfast and lunch spot, Local Roots, tucked away in the Financial District. Her business relies on people who work traditional 9 to 5 jobs in the neighborhood.
“They’re everything to us,” she said.
So when it comes to companies bringing their employees back to work, she’s eager to hear more.
“I’m sure the 5-day work week is no longer going to be the norm,” she said. “Most of our customers are saying that their offices are going back voluntarily or on a hybrid-basis.”
Kelly Obranowicz, with the Bay Area Council, says they’ve surveyed businesses all across the Bay Area about their return to office plans since April. An average of 200 employers, ranging from small to large companies, respond each month, she says.
Their latest data comes from the November survey.READ MORE: Wind-Whipped Wildfire in Big Sur Shuts Hwy 1, Forces Evacuations
“About 50% of employers thought by the end of January they would actually reach that new norm, but it was further out – until about the middle of next year, May – where about 85% of employers said that’s where we’ll hit it,” she said.
However, the survey concluded before people were aware of the Omicron variant.
“We’re waiting to see now what possible changes employers might be making based on that information,” she said.
Google recently delayed their return to office plan a bit further into 2022. Lyft announced on Friday they won’t require employees to come back into the office until 2023.
A Salesforce spokesperson provided KPIX 5 with the following statement, which reads in part:
“There’s been too much focus on return-to-office dates. The pandemic isn’t going away and our focus in the new year is on empowering our teams to find ways they can safely come together and reconnect. All Salesforce employees can work remotely until December 31, 2021. Starting in January 2022, each team will use a Flex Team Agreement to decide how and where they work, based on what works best for their team, and local government and health guidance.”
The return to the workplace will also have an impact on transit. The Bay Area Council shares their survey findings with the local transit agencies, according to Obranowicz.MORE NEWS: Two Years On, Employment Still Below Pre-Pandemic Peak
“We want them to be able to understand when are they going to see the demand on their system as far as when the returns are happening, but also what days of the week, and what commute times might that return time be happening during,” she said.