In its Global Investor Intentions Survey, CBRE finds that as companies plan for some type of centralized working, the real estate industry’s worries over decreased office demand is diminishing.
The survey showed that 72% of investors are expecting office demand to fall slightly, marking a stark shift in tone about the industry as a whole.
“More recently, investors and lenders in particular are warming up to the idea of financing office buildings across the country, realising that perhaps there was an overreaction to work-at-home and that, in fact, more companies are going to be returning to a work environment of some sort,” said Brian Stoffers, global president of CBRE’s debt and structured finance division.
For instance, Google recently announced it would reopen its offices in September and expects workers to be in the workspace at least three days a week.
However, although some form of return to the office is anticipated, CBRE added that the past year has still highlighted new needs of the workplace that include amenities that focus on the health of occupants.
Some companies plan to make this transition by adopting hub-and-spoke office arrangements, which will only slightly decentralize the workplace.
Using coworking and flexible office spaces, companies are trying to accommodate a more hybrid workforce. CBRE, for example, recently acquired a stake in coworking company Industrious in anticipation of this growth.