SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– In a post-pandemic world, working from home has become the new normal across the United States.

However, when it comes to the Ozarks, there is a big demand for getting people to go back to work in person.

“Here, locally, we’ve seen most of the people start to drift back in the office,” said Ross Murray, President of R.B. Murray Company. “We’ve actually seen it, I would say, for the last six months as the vaccine has continued to roll out.”

R.B. Murray Company is a commercial realty company located in Springfield. Murray says though more companies around the country are moving to work remotely permanently, Springfield is doing the opposite.

“Regionally and nationally, they’re struggling,” said Murray. “They’re about, probably, six months behind us, locally. Thus far, from what we’ve experienced, we’ve seen most of the people coming back to the workforce. People are getting more comfortable with coming back into the office.”

Murray says the reason people in the Ozarks are more willing to go back to the office is because many people in Springfield don’t use public transportation to get to work.

“We don’t have public transit with respect to subway systems and so forth, which just makes it more difficult to distance,” said Murray. “When we take that into consideration, in relation to a small market like Springfield, that we don’t have those high-rise buildings to compete with, that you’re in a small suburban, small office building where you can park at the door and walk in and not be subjected to some of those items, that it makes it an easier experience for people to come back into the office and able to distance.”

Murray says because people are heading back into the office, there’s a greater demand for office space.

“We’re starting to see that increase in demand since the lockdown has started to ease,” said Murray. “There’s, certainly, some institutions that may or may not come back in the office but we’ve experienced here, locally, is that the mass majority of people like, they’re social, they like to interact, whether that be company culture, company employee productivity, wanting to come back to work. In general, most people, at least here, locally, like to be in the office if given the opportunity.”

Murray explained another reason people are ready to get back into the office is to have a separation between their home life and work life.