Gabe Tucker, 26, is a lawyer with Fortif Law Partners in Birmingham, Ala., where the share of job listings that permit remote work is roughly half that of New York’s. Every morning, Mr. Tucker puts on a button-down shirt, drives for 15 minutes and arrives at the office around 8. His routine, in other words, remains identical to the one he had before the pandemic (with the exception of no longer having to wear a tie ). In the evenings, he and his colleagues sometimes make a toast to celebrate the closing of a deal. They’ve been back in the office since June 2020, with masks and other Covid precautions.
“It’s work like normal, pretty much,” Mr. Tucker said. “We found it difficult to be working remotely. We all enjoy being around each other.”
San Francisco’s office occupancy is at 39 percent of its prepandemic level, and New York’s is