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Who is going back to the office, how often and on which days? This question concerns employees and employers alike, who are currently trying to balance whether there is a right to work from home and whether being present in the company is mandatory or optional.

There are no uniform guidelines. Many companies are tightening their attendance rules and enforcing them more or less strictly. As a rule, attendance is not officially monitored or sanctioned. Data and facts about the culture of presence are therefore rare. This makes the information collected by room and workplace booking software that many companies now use all the more interesting.

The Swiss startup Deskbird offers such booking tools that are used in many companies and has analyzed data on the work behavior of Germans for the first time. Capital was able to exclusively view the results of this “Desk Sharing Index Germany” in advance. Deskbird evaluated bookings from more than 16,000 users in the eight largest German cities (Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt am Main, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Leipzig). To ensure that individual large corporations do not dominate the picture, between five and twelve companies with 500 to 5,000 employees were evaluated in each city. In total, data from more than 850,000 desk bookings in 123 small, medium-sized and large companies were included. In the same period from the beginning of September 2023 to the end of February 2024, the data from 3,000 users in Zurich, Vienna and Paris were analyzed for comparison.

To get straight to the point: On Fridays, many offices are actually much emptier than on other days. The average occupancy rate in all eight German cities is just under 46 percent. The most popular office day is Wednesday with occupancy at 68 percent, followed by Tuesday (67 percent) and Thursday (66.5 percent).

The data shows local differences: According to this, people in Leipzig are in the office 71 percent of the time on average (especially on Thursdays and even Fridays), in Cologne 70 percent (especially on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and in Stuttgart 66 percent (especially on Mondays). Percent. The banking city of Frankfurt only has an average of 48 percent office presence.

Overall, according to the “Desk Sharing Index Germany”, German employees come to the office two to three days a week. This was also the result of other studies such as the “Slack Intergenerational Collaboration Survey”.

However, the Germans cannot keep up in international comparison. According to Deskbird, Parisians are always at least 70 percent present in the office from Monday to Thursday, and the situation is similar in Vienna. This is only topped in Zurich, where office attendance is particularly high on Tuesday at 99 percent and on Wednesday at 97 percent.

However, the location alone will not be the decisive criterion for the office presence. Factors such as working atmosphere and corporate culture are certainly also crucial. And the breakdown by company size can also be informative. Deskbird data shows that desk utilization in German offices decreases with company size. In small companies with fewer than 250 employees, workplaces are at 38 percent capacity. Large companies with 1,500 or more employees, on the other hand, only have a capacity utilization of 30 percent. “In smaller companies, things are often more family-like and silos are rarer, so employees particularly value local collaboration,” says Deskbird founder and CEO Ivan Cossu.