Canadians are slowly but steadily returning to the city
“Ottawa is still way down in return-to-office metrics, and even when we think about where we are today compared to earlier in the pandemic, the stats are much lower,” Botting said. “So that’s just really the type of market that they’re in.
“We have some clients in Ottawa who are not public sector, who are in another sector of the market, and they’re saying: ‘How do I manage my return to office? What does that look like? Do I require my employees to come back one day a month, two days a month?’ versus in Calgary and Edmonton [where] they’re saying, ‘We want you in three to four days a week.’”
Another interesting trend, Benoit said, is that pedestrian traffic in city centres is 20% lower on Mondays and 23% on Fridays – indicating that if Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were isolated, a return to office that’s closer to pre-pandemic levels than the weekly average would be apparent.
That reflects a different type of return to the office compared with before the pandemic, and that a “diversity of hybrid models” are now the prevalent office arrangement compared with the five-day schedule prior to March 2020.