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- June 1, 2020: Vol. 14, Number 6

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Going back to the office: Predictions of a large drop in demand for office space may be wide of the mark

by Marek Handzel

Speaking in mid-April on Bloomberg Television, Morgan Stanley’s CEO, James Gorman, predicted that the bank will have “much less real estate” in the future.

Gorman, who had been working in self-isolation during the first half of April after contracting coronavirus, admitted to having been surprised at how well the bank had managed to function with 90 percent of the firm’s 80,000 employees working from home. “We’ve proven we can operate with no footprint,” he said, envisioning a future where many employees work part of every week or “certainly” part of every month at home.

Reporting on the interview, Bloomberg said that it was an “early glimpse” of the longer-term changes COVID-19 holds in store for the office market, suggesting that the fallout from the pandemic could spell “tough times” for commercial real estate in business centres with dense populations.

Gorman’s comments have been echoed by CEOs and business owner

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