Legal Industry Return to Office Outpaces Broader Commercial Office

With COVID-19 vaccines expanding nationwide, business leaders are anticipating an acceleration 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 workplace occupancy rates.

A fresh review of access to office buildings finds the legal industry consistently exceeds the average, while tracking overall patterns.

With extensive engagement in the legal industry, providing services to 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 sooner than other businesses, with occupancy rates 10 percentage points higher than the average.

“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 or cultural factors could also come into play for greater in person activity.”

, 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.”

Kastle has combined decades of security experience with best practices around managing COVID-19 to introduce KastleSafeSpaces, which helps workplaces re-open by making their spaces smarter and safer, while maintaining a level of convenience that’s enabled by technology.

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.