Corporate Real Estate Professionals: Remote Work, Virtual Meetings Are Here To Stay

28 APRIL, 2020 – ATLANTA, GA – Corporate real estate professionals say that the use of remote work and virtual meetings will last beyond the immediate coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and a growing number say that the overall corporate footprint will likely shrink as a result.

From 22-27 April, CoreNet Global conducted an updated survey of 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 (119 responses) and service provider members (143 responses).

The survey was an update to previous surveys sent to the worldwide membership from 4-6 March, 17-19 March, and 25-27 March.

The longer-term adaptation of remote and virtual work was reported in greater numbers:

  • Ninety-four percent of end-users think that expanded use of remote working will last beyond the current crisis (up from 89 percent in the previous survey)
  • Ninety-four 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 (unchanged from the previous survey)
  • Sixty-nine percent of end users surveyed say that their company’s real estate footprint will shrink as a result of increased work from home (up from 51 percent in the previous survey)
  • Seventy percent of respondents say that real estate projects have been put on hold (up from 67 percent in the previous survey)

However, these trends are not without challenges, which were identified by the respondents:

  • Being unable to have the kind of collaboration that occurs when everyone is together in the same room
  • Developing a long-term workplace strategy and remote working strategy
  • Figuring out the framework and details of our return-to-office plan
  • Extra time required to manage at a distance, with frequent check-ins to check on the emotional toll
  • Mental health of our employees
  • Accessing adequate supplies of hand sanitizer and masks

Optimism is Growing

Nineteen percent of end-user respondents reported that their companies had experienced layoffs due to COVID-19, nearly double the figure revealed in the previous survey (10 percent).

However, corporate real estate professionals are becoming more optimistic.

Survey respondents’ short-term economic outlook is less bullish than their longer-term outlook, but it is more optimistic than it was during the previous survey. When asked “Are you more or less optimistic about the economic future over the next three months?” the average rating (on a 1-5 scale, with 1 = low and 5 = high) was 2.5 for both end users and service providers. In the previous survey, the average rating was 2.3.

When that time frame is expanded to six months, the service provider rating jumped to 3.13 (up from 3.0 in the previous survey), while the end user rating (2.95) remained essentially unchanged from the previous survey (3.0).

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 45 local chapters and networking groups globally. For more information, please visit or follow @CoreNetGlobal on Twitter.