Disruption 2020: Back To Work?

by | 09 June 2020

  • Monday was the first day nonessential office workers could return to work in Boston. 
  • There was NO rush back to the office. 
  • Mobile tracking data from Advan Research reveals that overall foot traffic was up 6.6% in the Seaport waterfront last week. 
  • Compared to one year ago, foot traffic is down 82.8%. 
  • Numerous employers have pushed back their plans to return to the office between Independence Day and Labor Day, significantly limiting overall foot traffic for the foreseeable future. 

Last Monday was the first day that Mayor Walsh allowed nonessential office workers to return to work in Boston. Anecdotally, there wasn’t a rush to get back into the office, and multiple news articles spoke to the fact. We thought it would be interesting to see what happened by using mobile tracking data from Advan Research to analyze foot traffic in the Seaport waterfront last week. 

The short answer: there was no rush back. Overall last week, foot traffic increased by 6.6% 

Unsurprisingly, Monday figures had the biggest pop, up nearly 22% from one week prior. Comparing June 1 to the first Monday of June last year (June 3), overall Seaport foot traffic is down 82.8%. Many employers are taking a cautious approach to opening up, with some planning a return between Independence Day and Labor Day. Meanwhile, both the Commonwealth and the city of Boston have their own guidance in place on reopening. It will be quite some time before offices are back up and running, creating foot traffic with any resemblance to pre-COVID-19 foot traffic.