Featured Indicator: The Future of the Office CBRE’s Global Occupier Sentiment Survey

January 25, 2021 Jessica Tagliafierro

As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt, economic developers, business owners, elected officials, and other stakeholders seek to understand what all of the changes of the last year mean for the future of work and of the workplace. CBRE’s Global Occupier Sentiment Survey tries to answer this question and provide insight into how sentiments toward the office environment are impacting corporate real estate strategies.

What is the data telling us?

  • A balance of office and remote ways of working is preferred by most employees. 67% of employees desire a balance of office and remote work. 73% of companies anticipate supporting balanced workstyles in the future.

  • Organizations are anticipating more employee choice over when and where they work, but the physical office is still a requirement in the future as organizations are anticipating different levels of remote work. As of September 2020, nearly half of companies anticipate having 25-75% of employees remote full time. A quarter of companies anticipate having less than 25% of employees remote full time, and 14% of employers anticipate having no remote workers. Home based work is likely to remain an option but will be integrated within networks of other organizational and collaborative spaces.

  • Real estate efficiency is expected to continue to be a focus for businesses, with 87% of companies expecting to decrease their real estate footprint over the next 3-5 years.

  • Flexible office space (coworking, serviced office, suites) is gaining in popularity. 86% of businesses surveyed expect flex space to play some role in their long term real estate strategies. Flexible space options are expected to be the most in-demand building attributes in the future.

Why is this important?

Many communities across the country are grappling with measuring how the COVID-19 impact is changing the work habits of their residents and the office space needs of their businesses. This CBRE survey is one tool that can be used to get a global perspective on workforce sentiment and business real estate strategy trends. Throughout the pandemic, Camoin 310 has been closely tracking COVID-19’s impact on real estate markets. For more insight, check out COVID Impacts on the Real Estate Markets: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.


Image Source: Adobe Spark and Camoin 310