NOVEMBER 28, 2021

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A sluggish office revival does not necessarily spell wholesale changes to the sector in Europe

by James Wallace

The COVID-19 crisis has thrown office investors and occupiers a curveball scarcely contemplated before 2020. It has catapulted remote working from a trendy, flexible benefit, to the dominant working pattern among office workers across the globe. It has powered behavioural change, which has outlived government-mandated quarantine policies, as people prefer the work-life balance of working from home (WFH).

But does this mean that there needs to be wholesale changes to the European office market?

On the surface, office demand across Europe is showing tentative signs of recovery. Office investment markets tend to be correlated to employment growth, with more city jobs driving demand for office space. “Employment has picked up across Europe, but given the employment market was buoyed by the furlough scheme and government stimulus, it did not rebound by that much in most economies,” according to Damian Harrington, head of research at Colliers.

In the UK, GDP is se

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