New analysis from Cushman & Wakefield predicts that office occupancy won’t return to pre-pandemic levels for at least another five years.
According to the study, 215 million square feet of office vacancy has been lost throughout the pandemic and the net negative office square feet damage is expected to reach 95 million square feet by Q3 2021.
Cushman & Wakefield surveyed some of the world’s largest companies and analyzed the cyclical impact of the ongoing pandemic-fueled recession and how the shift to working from home has increased.
The firm’s chief economist Kevin Thorpe said that the research revealed two key findings: office leasing will be impacted and vacancies will reach record level, but the office market is expected to make a full recovery.
It is clear that remote and hybrid work arrangements will continue to grow, with the firm predicting remote workers will increase to 10 to 11%, while hybrid workers will increase from 32% to 36%.
“The myth that work from home is not productive has been busted,” said Harmit Singh, CFO of Levi Strauss. “I believe we will settle into a culture where working from anywhere will be the new norm, with work from home or office or a hybrid arrangement.”
Other major companies, like Google, have revealed they will experiment with hybrid arrangements to accommodate workers who want more agility.