31% dip in use of Hyderabad’s office spaces since COVID pandemic

31% dip in use of Hyderabad’s office spaces since COVID pandemic, the vie

Mobility data from Aug 9-Sept 20 this year shows 9% decline in usage of public transport

Although life has returned to near-normalcy in Hyderabad since the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, 31% people are still not back at workplaces and the number of people frequenting retail and recreation spaces is still down by 22%, personal mobility data has shown.

The anonymised data trends are mapped by Google and correspond to the day of the week, during the six-week period (January 3 to February 6, 2020) before the onset of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. Both IT giants Google and Apple have been releasing mobility data since the outbreak of the pandemic, showing the disruption in normal lifestyle.

Telangana government officials have made repeated pleas to IT companies to resume work from office. The work-from-home (WFH) ecosystem is having its economic cost as human resources and ancillary industries dependent on employees have been affected. Retail, real-estate, transport and other sectors have been hit due to the WFH routine adopted by IT companies. Hyderabad has an estimated 6.3 lakh IT workers and more than 90% of them are operating in WHF mode.

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The corollary to fewer workers in office spaces is shown in the mobility data with the time spent in residential spaces up by 9%, and down by 9% in usage of public transport. The data pertains to the period between August 9 and September 20 this year.

Walking, driving

However, walking and driving have reached and even topped pre-pandemic levels. The time spent in walking is up by 105% and driving is nearly 71% of pre-lockdown days in Hyderabad.

Across the urban areas of Telangana, a similar trend of decline in use of office and retail spaces has been noticed in the data.

The workspace disruption is matched across the metropolitan areas of India with Chennai showing 31% dip like Hyderabad, while Bengaluru shows an even higher 39% dip in use of office spaces in comparison to pre-pandemic period. While the three cities known for big IT firms show this marked dip, the country, as a whole, shows a -12% deviation from the average in terms of use of workspaces.

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