Why Companies Aren’t Cutting Back on Office Space
In our monthly surveys of 5,000 American workers and 500 U.S. employers, and in our numerous conversations with managers, a huge shift to hybrid work is abundantly clear for office and knowledge workers. An emerging norm is three days a week in the office and two at home, cutting days onsite by 30% or more.
You might think this cutback would bring a huge drop in the demand for office space. But our survey data suggests cuts in office space of 1% to 2% on average, implying big reductions in density not space. We see three reasons for this.
First, high density at the office is uncomfortable. Many workers dislike crowds around their desks, much more so now that infection risks are top of mind. Discomfort with density extends to lobbies, kitchens, canteens, and especially elevators. The only sure-fire way to reduce density is to cut person days on site [cut “person”?] without cutting square footage as much. Discomfort with density is here to stay according to our survey evidence.
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