Publications

- October 1, 2020: Vol. 14, Number 9

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The limitations of home working: Don’t write off the office just yet

by Paul Kennedy

The wholesale shift to home working triggered by the COVID-19 shutdown has understandably led to questions regarding the future of the office.

It has been suggested a shift to greater home working will allow workers to benefit from an enhanced work/life balance, more agency over their time, as well as lower housing and commuting costs. At the same time, employers are predicted to benefit from improved productivity and reduced office costs. Under this win-win vision, the only cost will be to those saddled with surplus levels of office space. Although this view is undoubtedly attractive for occupiers, it is also superficial. While office real estate is likely to be forever changed as a result of COVID-19, work-from-home as a trend only goes so far. Companies will therefore need to plan their office space needs accordingly.

While the COVID-19 shutdown has clearly demonstrated the potential of home working, the last few months have also provided ample evidence of its limit

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