Remote Working: The Potential Impact on Office Demand

Jul 30, 2020, 14:12 PM by Alex Krasikov

The need for new safety measures and social distancing in the COVID-19 era could cause more demand for office space in order to reduce workplace density. On the other hand, with remote working expected to become more widespread and lasting, office demand could decline. Due to the counterbalancing effects of these two trends, CBRE forecasts only a modest to moderate decline in office demand in the next five years.

CBRE Econometric Advisors has completed an in-depth analysis on the future of remote working and its potential impact on office demand.

Additional Key Findings:

  • The impact of remote working on office demand may be further moderated by market price. Lower rents could increase demand and bring tenants back to the market. A decline in new supply and potential conversions of obsolete office buildings to other uses are expected to limit any increase in vacancy.
  • CBRE’s base scenario assumes a 15% increase in working remotely and a 15% increase in office space per worker due to social distancing, leading to only a 2% decrease in overall office demand.

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