Corporate Real Estate Professionals Report Dramatic Changes in Revised Workplace Strategies Based On Coronavirus

Three-Fourths Say New Measures Will Last Beyond Current Crisis

20 MARCH, 2020 – In a tracking survey of global corporate real estate professionals at large corporations conducted by CoreNet Global, the amount of respondents who say they now support a corporate mandate for remote work has nearly doubled in two weeks, to 97 percent from 56 percent two weeks ago.

Additionally, 78 percent of end users surveyed think that expanded use of virtual meetings (e.g., vs. face-to-face meetings) will last beyond the current crisis, and 72 percent think that expanded use of remote working will last beyond the current crisis.

From 17-19 March, CoreNet Global surveyed its 11,000 members to gauge the evolving corporate real estate (CRE) response to the COVID-19 coronavirus challenge and to identify practical steps members can take to support their companies’ effort to ensure employee safety and business continuity. Separate surveys were sent to end user members (122 responses) and service provider members (176 responses).

The survey was an update to one that was conducted from 4-6 March. The findings reveal major changes in less than two weeks, with corporate real estate organizations dramatically increasing the depth and breadth of their response to the coronavirus challenge:

  • Ninety-seven percent of respondents are supporting a corporate mandate for expanded remote working, compared to 56 percent in the previous survey
  • Some 70 percent are encouraging employees to avoid public places and public transportation, up from 20 percent
  • Thirty-nine percent have reduced hours of operation at one or more facilities, up from 15 percent
  • Fifty-five percent have shut down one or more facilities, compared to 24 percent previously
  • Eighty-eight percent are encouraging employees to avoid direct contact in the workplace (e.g., handshakes), up from 56 percent
  • Forty-five percent have established more stringent security (e.g., building entry) procedures for visitors, such as health screenings (up from 31 percent)
  • Twenty percent are now providing on-site health care professionals, up from 8 percent
  • Ninety percent are postponing or canceling business meetings, up from 69 percent

In a new survey question, almost half of respondents (48 percent) stated that their companies are making accommodations for parents whose children are out of school due to the coronavirus outbreak. Several respondents indicated that their companies have expanded PTO (Paid Time Off) to support employees in balancing home and career.

As revealed in the survey, the biggest current challenges in addressing the COVID-19 coronavirus include:

  • Rapid pace of change and new government mandates
  • The fluidity of the crisis
  • Adapting for a long-term crisis
  • Managing functions that cannot be handled remotely
  • Containing fears

Internet and network bandwidth was cited as the top concern for those working remotely.

About CoreNet Global

CoreNet Global is a non-profit association, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia (US), representing more than 11,000 executives in 50 countries with strategic responsibility for the real estate assets of large corporations. The organization’s mission is to advance the practice of corporate real estate through professional development opportunities, publications, research, conferences, designations and networking in 46 local chapters and networking groups globally. For more information, please visit or follow @CoreNetGlobal on Twitter.

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