September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Downtown Sacramento Partnership introduces incentives to get workers to return in person

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — If your office is in downtown Sacramento, it could pay to return to work in person. 

Looking to lure people back to their workplaces, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership is launching lottery-style giveaways. 

The group points out that there is an entire sector of businesses in the downtown grid that catered mostly to office workers, and those businesses continue to struggle as people work from home. 

Executive Director Michael Ault said while there has been a significant jump in in-person workers downtown since February, office occupancy is still at just about 40% to 50%. 

Ault said people working in person could make or break the downtown grid.

The Allspicery on 11th Street across from the State Capitol reopened for in-person business on June 15. 

The spice shop is nestled between what used to be popular dining options. They relied heavily on foot traffic as people went from offices to eateries.

“Numbers are down, but that’s OK. We know that as people reemerge from home and start working downtown again, that will pick up again,” employee Tom Winnett said.

The partnership is looking to make it worth people’s while to venture back to the downtown grid. 

The giveaway process is simple. In-person downtown workers just visit the Downtown Sacramento Partnership website and can enter to win prizes like VIP tickets to the Aftershock music festival, tickets to the Tower Bridge Dinner and hotel stays.

“This lottery, incentive, it’s an additional way to say, ‘Come back to work, and we’ve got some fun things for you to benefit from,’” Ault said.

However, is luring people back realistic or to the benefit of those workers? 

A Gallup survey of office workers taken between October 2020 and April 2021 showed an almost even split between people in white-collar professions working at home and working in person. 

Forty-eight percent of respondents said they were working in person, with 52% working from home. However, of the half working at home, about 67% said they want to keep it that way, with only 32% saying they’d want to return to in-person work.

Ault acknowledged that they may be dealing with a changing dynamic downtown. 

The solution? Continue to adapt.

“We’re trying to really balance what that looks like, and we’re trying to create an environment that makes people want to be downtown,” Ault said.

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