Remote work isn’t going anywhere, for now.
According to Mark Rose, CEO of commercial real estate services firm Avison Young, remote working isn’t losing steam despite the efforts of executives like Elon Musk. In fact, Rose says that the earliest workers will return to the office is in five years.
“Right now, anyone who really wants a job can have a job,” said Rose. “If I have a choice between a place that’s mandating five days a week or I can be flexible, I’m going to choose to go to the flexible office.”
In Canada’s largest cities, the opening of new office buildings did little to help office vacancy rates, which hit a two year-high according to data from Avison Young. Despite foot traffic slightly picking up earlier this year compared to the first year of the pandemic, a full office return seems like wishful thinking at the moment.
Data from Strategic Regional Research Alliance also showed that occupancy levels in Canada remained at around 24% as of mid-May.
The gap in mutual understanding between managers and employees seems to be driving these vacancies. While many leaders prefer their staff to be in the office full-time, workers are increasingly willing to leave jobs that do not offer flexibility.
“Leadership is saying they want everybody back. Leadership is not necessarily coming back. That piece has to flip,” said Rose.