Companies find ‘work from home’ effective but won’t reduce office space, reveals survey – CNBCTV18 - Freelance Rack

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Companies find ‘work from home’ effective but won’t reduce office space, reveals survey – CNBCTV18

‘Work from home’, which is now ubiquitously abbreviated as WFH, is a system that works. A Knight Frank survey of corporate real estate (CRE) leaders suggests that an overwhelming majority of them feel their employees’ productivity has either remained the same (35 percent) or, in fact, increased (28 percent).

That begs the question: will CRE bosses, then, reduce their office space portfolios? As counter-intuitive as it may sound, the answer is no. The Knight Frank CRE survey says that 62 percent of its respondents are, on the contrary, likely to retain or increase their portfolio in the next 12 months. Only 15 percent will likely reduce their current portfolio.

“The survey gives us a perspective that real estate users are unlikely to reduce their current portfolio mostly due to the norms of social distancing. Till a viable treatment for COVID-19 is found, office space users will have to maintain or acquire more space to accommodate the existing team,” Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank said.

He added, “Work from Home will co-exist, but office space will not lose its importance as a strategic tool for corporate culture development and a source of competitive advantage. Going forward, especially in the post -pandemic phase, more formulae will be devised which will include ‘work from near home’ alongside work from office and work from home.”

This will, according to Knight Frank, increase office developments not only in the top 8 cities, but in smaller towns where employees originate from, in the long term.

A majority of corporate real estate bosses (72%) said they are likely to continue with the ‘work from home’ arrangement for the next six months due to the need to ensure social distancing and ensure business continuity. Social distancing, however, is also one of the main challenges with transportation for employees that companies are looking to address.

According to the survey, only 16 percent respondents identified ‘convincing employees to come to work’ as a challenge towards restarting their office space operations, Knight Frank said.

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