Masks, vaccines and the work week — CRE professionals reveal their latest thinking

by Brianna Crandall — July 26, 2021 — Nonprofit association CoreNet Global recently asked corporate real estate (CRE) CoreNet Global logomanagers around the world about their current thinking on where the work week will be spent in two years as well as their attitudes on requiring face masks and vaccinations.

Work week

In two years, more than half (53%) of the corporations surveyed say that their overall corporate real estate portfolio will be smaller than it is today. For 15% of those surveyed, that reduction will be by more than 30%. For 26% of those anticipating declines, the reduction will be between 10% and 30%, and for the remainder the reduction will be less than 10%.

In addition, the CRE professionals say that one half of the traditional work week will be spent in the traditional office, and the remaining half divided among home offices, co-working, or other remote locations.

While a clear majority (66%) say that the 9-5 work week is a thing of the past, 83% say that the office will remain as place for collaboration and teamwork.

A full 44% say that they now consider hiring employees regardless of where they are located, for 100% virtual work.

In May 2021, CoreNet Global conducted this survey of its worldwide membership (in 50 countries) to gain insight on how the ongoing Covid-19 crisis is impacting corporate real estate management; 145 leaders in corporate real estate responded.

Masks and vaccines in the workplace

An additional survey revealed the current thinking of global corporate real estate professionals on masks and vaccinations for office workers.

Nearly half, 47% of those who responded, said that the recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates on mask requirements had accelerated the return to work for employees at their respective companies. Fully 53% said that the relaxations on mask requirements did not have an effect.

And 53% said that they would be requiring employees, including those who are vaccinated, to wear masks in the office, while 47% said they would not.

Almost two-thirds (60%) said that they expect a “back to normal” with respect to the return to work within six months from now, while 33% said that there would be no return to normal as the workplace is permanently changed.

This survey was also conducted in May 2021, with more than 100 CRE leaders responding.