OfficeReports

Companies Weigh In on Office Space Needs Two Years from the Onset of the Pandemic

52 percent of survey respondents say they intend to reduce their office space over the next three years, mostly to eliminate excess space they anticipate will be freed up by remote work and more efficient use. That’s according to CBRE’s new survey of office-using companies. By contrast, most companies are back to developing long-term plans to expand or contract their office space now that employees are returning, at least some of the time, after two years of mostly remote work.

“Companies are moving forward on their real estate plans as their employees gradually return to the office this year, but we need to keep in mind that these types of changes take time to unfold,” said Manish Kashyap, CBRE global president of Advisory & Transaction Services. “Companies will continue to study their new work patterns and experiment with various ways to support productivity and employee satisfaction. The results of those efforts might shift their sentiment on contraction or expansion as we go forward.”

Key Stats:

  • 39% of companies say they plan to expand their office portfolios over the next three years, mostly due to hiring and business growth. That’s up from 29% last year.
  • Conversely, 52% of survey respondents say they intend to reduce their office space over the next three years, mostly to eliminate excess space they anticipate will be freed up by remote work and more efficient use. That’s up from 44% last year.
  • 51% of companies surveyed say they anticipate flex space will account for a significant portion of their office portfolios within two years, up from 17% that say it already does today.
  • Most companies plan to allow their employees to spend part of their time in the office and part working remotely (73%). 19% plan to require all work to be done from the office. And only 8% intend to be “virtual first” or fully remote.
  • 85% of companies say they want employees to spend half or more of their time in the office. The rest anticipate their workforce being primarily remote, but not fully.

“Hybrid work has greatly expanded the roles the office must play and the needs it must fill,” said Julie Whelan, CBRE Global Head of Occupier Research. “Companies and employees alike want their offices to support collaboration through their layout and technology. They want their offices to be clean, healthy environments. And they want to use their space efficiently, which often means sharing it with other employees or even other companies.” 

To read CBRE’s full report on the survey, click here.

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