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How remote work may affect commercial real estate

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2021 | Real Estate Litigation

With the shift to remote work, many office buildings are currently sitting empty. This is likely to change over time, but some studies indicate that companies are not planning to return to full office use.

PwC has conducted extensive surveys to learn what businesses expect their next move to be and how their use of commercial real estate may change in the future.

Survey statistics

Only 13% of the executives who participated said they would go fully remote and forgo the office entirely. Employees also believe that the office plays two important roles: team collaboration and relationship-building. As far as maintaining company culture, the largest percentage of executives in the survey, 29%, said three days per week was probably sufficient.

While 87% of executives plan to change their real estate strategies during the next year, not all of them are thinking of downsizing. In fact, 56% believe they will need more office space, not less.

Functions and locations

Forbes explains that whether they downsize or increase their office spaces, many companies are rethinking how to maximize their use. Companies that plan to maintain a location have quite a few options. For example, they may have core offices and coworking spaces, and/or they may use flex space and virtual offices. Considerations include the purpose of the space and how often employees need to be there and why.

To meet their new needs, companies anticipate looking for geographically dispersed locations for client-engagement hubs and collaborative sessions. This could translate to fewer individual offices and more meeting rooms in many locations.

Commercial real estate owners may need to become more flexible with their lease options and invest in a wider range of office spaces and configurations to draw in these companies.