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'It's Apocalyptic': Pittsburgh Leaders Estimate Downtown Office Occupancy Is At 30 Percent As Work From Home Continues

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have been working from home.

Now, many of them have not returned.

As a result, office buildings downtown and throughout the region are still mostly vacant.

Even though offices are allowed to reopen, most workers have not returned. Attorney Bob Del Greco says he feels like he's living in the end times.

"It's eerie, it's desolate, it's apocalyptic. And I don't like it," Del Greco said.

Del Greco's law firm ⁠— Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote ⁠— is one of a few businesses operating from their offices in Downtown Pittsburgh, where everyone wears masks and generally keeps their distance.

To cut down on the number of people working at one time, the staff is divided into two teams that come in on alternating days.

"We're ramping up and we expect to full bore in a few weeks," Del Greco said.

Firm president John Conti is happy to have his professionals back but concedes that many will stay working from their own homes just as effectively.

"The younger folks are much more adept at working remotely. They're much more comfortable, and you can see some changes in the works as we service our clients remotely," Conti said.

The Building Owners & Managers Association of Pittsburgh estimates current office occupancy at 30 percent and is predicting a slow ramping up for the rest of the year.

But BOMA's Amanda Schaub does not believe the work-from-home trend will result in a glut of office vacancies.

"We're definitely optimistic that workers will come back and employers will have their employees back in the office. There's definitely positions that facilitate working from home but people miss that company culture and in-person atmosphere," she said.

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