Netherlands Office Attendance Down 12% From Post-Covid High Amid New Cases

The number of country residents attending their offices in the Netherlands has dropped 12% from its post-lockdown high during the last week as a rise in Covid-19 cases in the country and overseas subverts the return to normal for many.

Huq’s new Return-to-Work Indicator, which uses mobile geo-data to measure the number of people attending their offices in comparison to pre-lockdown levels, had identified growing numbers of people getting back into work after the series low in April. However, this has been taking a gradual turn over the last few weeks and suggests more people are working from home again.

France, Spain and Italy, which had been leading the commute recovery, have seen decreases of around 10pts in the last week. German residents, who have been slower to get back to the office, have also reduced their attendance in the last few weeks with the indicator dropping around 10pts to quarter of its previous levels.

Interestingly, in the last week the UK has bucked this broader trend and, although still low at around 16%, office attendance has held fairly steady over the last few weeks. Residents in the US remain one of the slowest to return to the office, seeing levels drop as low as 5.5% of pre-Covid levels.

The Netherlands has been battling some of Europe’s sharpest increases in Covid-19 cases and – combined with the summer season –  has conspired to take its toll on the return to the workplace. While the recent global decrease in office attendance is far less pronounced than the drop seen in March, it nonetheless offers clues as to how long the office economy will have to wait.