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Real Estate - MAY 21, 2020

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Telecommuting and pandemic protocols to affect office demand in future

by Loretta Clodfelter

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced many office workers to the practice of working from home, and there is some question about whether office demand might be reduced from elevated telecommuting in a post-pandemic environment.

A new report from MetLife Investment Management, “Back to Work: Office Demand in a Post-Pandemic World,” examines the possibility that rising telecommuting could affect office demand, but finds countervailing forces on office demand may mean limited impact on overall office demand in the long term — though it could decrease demand in the short term.

“We think it may get worse before it gets better,” said Will Pattison, head of real estate research at MetLife Investment Management, regarding office demand in a post-pandemic scenario. “I suspect the next six to 12 months are going to look increasingly negative for office,” added Pattison.

Pattison predicts a number of firms will continue to experiment with the shift toward tele

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