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COVID-19: Working from home or living at work?

As market reaction highlights, offices are one of the asset classes feeling the shock of the pandemic most acutely.

Our poll of office occupiers shows a world that no one would have foreseen only nine months ago. At the beginning of 2020 home working was an option for 10% of the workforce, but our research shows that in some countries 45% of office-based workers were still at home in July.

In fact, demand for flexible office space across Europe has almost tripled in the last three months according to figures from Savills advisory service Workthere. This perhaps confirms interest in a move towards dispersed ‘office hubs’ allowing employees to work closer to home without a long commute to a city centre head office.

The balance between home working and the office, whichever form it takes, looks likely to shift once and for all. Whether it will be regional hubs or city centre HQs adapting in ways in which our 2017 report Smart. Healthy. Agile. highlighted, including a much greater focus on physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, and a sense of community.

The office – a sense of community

Occupiers recognise the office has the greatest impact when it comes to integrating with colleagues (43%) and creating a sense of human connection in the workplace (46%). A significant number of occupiers believe that a mix of home and office working is the best option for employees’ creativity and innovation (46%), productivity (45%) and motivation and enthusiasm (43%).

However, how will they see the office changing as a result of the pandemic. Reassuringly both groups were largely in agreement with physical and mental wellbeing important. 

current view of London real estate market graph

To find out more about how occupiers view the future of offices and the forecast of flexible office space, please download the full report: Real Estate Reset.


Key contacts

Ciaran Carvalho
Ciaran Carvalho
Head of Real Estate
Clare Thomas
Clare Thomas
T +44 20 7524 6906