Where are people going back to the office?

From Salt Lake City to Austin, the return-to-work gains momentum

WeWork Innovation Pointe in Lehi, UT. Photographs by WeWork

Take a look around and you’ll notice something exciting—the world finally feels a bit more normal. In the United States, more than 60 percent of adults have gotten at least one vaccine dose. As that number increases, we’re gradually returning to some version of our pre-pandemic routines. For many, that means working out of an office at least a few days a week. 

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One survey by security company Kastle found that office visits in the US rose 11 percent in May compared to early February, when cases were surging. The pace of return varies widely by location, with the Austin metro area topping the list, with office visits at 45 percent of what they were before the pandemic. 

At WeWork locations, we’ve seen these increases reflected in our occupancy rates, tour requests, and web traffic. Demand in the US has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. This is based on an internal market readiness rating that takes into account site search data, tour volume, and key card swipes. At the top of our list of cities seeing increasing demand for office space, and matching the Kastle survey findings, is Austin. Austin is seeing site traffic return to pre-COVID-19 levels. There was also a 16 percent rise in tour requests in April compared with pre-pandemic levels. 

Other cities, including those highlighted below, are not far behind. Raleigh-Durham increased from moderate to high demand, with the highest jump in site traffic among US locations. And Salt Lake City, also with high demand, saw one of the largest increases in key card swipes, bringing the city to near-normal levels of traffic. 

WeWork spaces all over the country feel more alive as people adjust to being back in a physical workspace. WeWork On Demand offers pay-as-you-go access to shared office spaces, while WeWork All Access unlocks WeWork locations in cities around the world. If you live in one of these rebounding cities, or are even just traveling there, check out the WeWork locations that will support your return to the office, on your terms. 

Salt Lake City

The capital of Utah, this growing city boasts a comfortable small-town feel with a population of just over 200,000, plus another million or so in the greater metropolitan area. But don’t let the relatively small population fool you: SLC features a serious foodie scene, world-class shopping, and a robust arts community. 

250 Tower

WeWork On Demand available

Nearby Transit: 200 S/200 E Stop (2, 205, 220 buses), State St/250 S Stop (200, 451, 454, 455, 470, 473 buses)

Cross Streets: 200 S & 200 E

Schedule a Tour

Spanning several floors in Tower 250, this location’s expansive, light-filled lounges make a striking first impression, while comfortable conference rooms and sleek private offices will allow you to stay focused on the work that matters. Plus, a fitness center downstairs streamlines your workout routine.

Commuting is a breeze, as this location has on-site parking and bike storage, and the Trax at Gallivan Plaza Station is within walking distance. After work, take clients to a Utah Jazz basketball game at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, go with a coworker to the famed Beer Bar for drinks, or host a networking event on the beautiful outdoor terrace.

Innovation Pointe

WeWork On Demand available

Nearby Transit: Triumph Blvd/3451 N Stop (807, 863 buses)

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At the heart of Salt Lake City’s technology scene, WeWork’s shared office space at Innovation Pointe is designed to fuel connection and productivity. The top two floors of this five-story building feature lounge areas filled with natural light, well-connected conference rooms, and sleek private offices. 

On-site parking and close access to buses from Salt Lake City and Provo make commuting easy. After work, tour the museums at Thanksgiving Point or treat the team to dinner at one of the many restaurants nearby. Surrounded by the corporate campuses of Microsoft, Adobe, and Oracle, this coworking space puts you right in the center of the action.

Raleigh-Durham

With its many universities, Raleigh-Durham is a hub for financial and professional service companies attracted by the area’s highly educated workforce. Occupying the #3 spot on Forbes’ 2019 ranking for Best Places for Business and Careers, Raleigh-Durham is also fast becoming a tourist destination, thanks to its bluegrass music, beautiful oak trees, temperate weather, and vibrant restaurant scene.

One Glenwood 

Nearby Transit: 6, 13, R line buses (on the block); 4, 8, 16, 105, 100, 13 buses (two blocks away)

Cross Streets: Glenwood Ave & Hillsborough St

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Custom murals and art-filled interiors complement the area’s lively maker scene, inspiring teams to think differently and color outside the lines. The building’s floor-to-ceiling windows fill the space with natural light and make this the perfect spot for gaining inspiration. 

Conveniently located between Glenwood South and the vibrant Warehouse District, One Glenwood offers access to the best of Downtown Raleigh with a rich blend of restaurants, cafés, shops, and bars. Commutes are made easy with Route 401 nearby, and parking, bus, and train options are all within walking distance.

One City Center

Nearby Transit: 2 and BCC lines at E Main St at Magnum St (0.1 mile)

Cross Streets: Main St & Corcoran St

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This high rise is filled with upscale touches, including private elevators, lobbies, and high-end finishes. Whether you want to launch a business or grow an existing team, this energizing coworking location is a great space to spark innovation and creativity. 

Located in the heart of Downtown Durham, this beautiful space delivers the location, resources, and support that teams at all stages need to thrive. On-site parking and bike storage make commuting simple. After the day is done, coworkers can unwind in one of the many trendy bars and restaurants nearby. 

Austin

The Texas capital is home to acclaimed cultural events like the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference. And in recent years, the city has also become a thriving hub for over 6,500 startups. It could be that Austin attracts businesses because of its sheer beauty and livability, which makes it a desirable place to put down roots. 

SXSW Center

WeWork On Demand available

Nearby Transit: CapMetro buses from Lavaca St/15th St, State Parking Garage E

Cross Streets: Lavaca St & 14th St

Schedule a Tour

This ultramodern shared office space boasts hot desks, smartly composed private offices, and expansive, art-filled lounges ideal for meeting new clients. Parking and electric vehicle charging stations ensure your electric vehicle will always be well served. 

Situated opposite the Texas State Capitol and in the same building as the SXSW headquarters, this workspace puts you at the heart of this city’s diverse business community. Downtown’s buzzing bars and restaurants are just blocks away, while the Museum District to the north offers teams the chance to immerse themselves in Austin’s vibrant cultural scene.

600 Congress Ave

WeWork On Demand available

Nearby Transit: CapMetro rail from Downtown Station

Cross Streets: Congress Ave & 6th St

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Elements of this shared office’s interior design pay homage to celebrated director and University of Texas at Austin alumnus Wes Anderson. Beautifully designed lounge areas and private offices provide plenty of inspiration for established entrepreneurs and freelancers alike.

This downtown coworking space on Congress Avenue hosts some of Austin’s coolest young companies. It encapsulates the city’s diversity of artists, designers, and creators. The entertainment of 6th Street is right outside, too, offering hardworking teams a chance to unwind after hours.

San Diego

The eighth largest city in the country, San Diego boasts pristine beaches, beautiful weather, and a thriving business community. Known for its laid-back, entrepreneurial spirit, San Diego plays host to numerous tech companies that attract world-class talent from all over the world. All that plus a vibrant art, entertainment, and culinary scene make this Southern California city a magnet for businesses large and small. 

600 B St

WeWork On Demand available

Nearby Transit: Fifth Ave Trolley Station (two blocks away)

Cross Streets: B St & 7th Ave

Schedule a Tour

WeWork 600 B Street boasts six sun-filled floors of office space in a modern high-rise. Beyond WeWork’s signature amenities, you’ll find a sunlit terrace with a community bar, and a wellness room for a quick afternoon meditation or after-work yoga session. 

Located in the heart of downtown San Diego, this is a unique space that blends the chill vibe of a beachside city with the bustle of an urban center. After work, treat your clients to a show at the House of Blues, a game at Petco Park, or happy hour in the Gaslamp Quarter. 

Aventine

WeWork On Demand available

Nearby Transit: La Jolla Village Dr & Lebon Dr (30, 41, 101, 150, 921 buses), Nobel Dr & Lebon Dr (201, 202 buses)

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Designed by architect Michael Graves, WeWork Aventine is an 11-story neo-Greco-Roman building in San Diego’s University Town Center community. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of San Diego, while an on-site swimming pool and tennis courts help members make the most of the beautiful Southern California weather.

This stunning space sits between highways I-5, I-805, and SR 52, putting you in the center of UTC and providing an environment for your company to thrive. And with neighboring restaurants like Fleming’s, Truluck’s, and Melting Pot, there is a happy hour or dining experience for every occasion. 

Bradley Little is a writer and producer based in New York.

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