CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK), a leading global real estate services firm, published a report stating that 40% of the workforce had returned to the office as of September, but predicting the majority will return in early 2022.
The new report, “Predicting the Return to the Office,” conducted by Cushman & Wakefield’s global research team analyzes office return data from across the globe, as well as the trajectory of the virus and vaccination rates to predict when a large-scale return to office may occur. The latest research finds that return to the office is directly correlated with high vaccination rates and low infection rates. Researchers also examined additional data, including government restrictions, school openings and public opinion regarding mass transit to project realistic return dates for industries operating in the Americas (U.S. and Canada), APAC (Asia-Pacific), and EMEA (Europe) regions.
“It’s important to remember that pre-pandemic, office buildings were never 100% occupied on any given day; 60% was generally the norm,” said Kevin Thorpe, Chief Economist at Cushman & Wakefield. “Today, we are at 40% globally, but of course that varies greatly from city to city. In this study, we attempt to connect all the dots, all the factors that would lead to a stronger return to the office. Assuming no virus setbacks at this point, we see office buildings and cities reenergizing in early 2022.”
Current data included in the report suggests that most of the world will achieve herd resiliency—i.e., over 70% either vaccinated or infected—by the second quarter of 2022, and current trends suggest that most office workers globally will be able to return to the office in the first quarter of 2022. Regionally, the return is expected to be led by Greater China, followed by Europe, then the U.S., Canada and finally the Asia Pacific region.
“Most businesses are hoping to get back as soon as possible,” said David Smith, Global Head of Occupier Insights and co-author of the study. “This isn’t a conversation about never going back, it’s a conversation about when can we safely get back to the office because almost all employees and employers have indicated they want to go back – more flexibility, yes, but they want to go back. And based on surging tour activity, we know demand is there – so it’s not a matter of if office buildings will re-populate, but when. The leading data is pointing to Q1 2022.”
This paper is the first of a three-part series that examines the return to the office. Part two will examine the net impact on office leasing fundamentals, considering the latest recession-recovery trends and remote working dynamics.
Read the full report here.
About Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 50,000 employees in over 400 offices and 60 countries. In 2020, the firm had revenue of $7.8 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation and other services. To learn more, visit www.cushmanwakefield.com or follow @CushWake on Twitter.
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
All statements in this release other than historical facts are forward-looking statements, which rely on a number of estimates, projections and assumptions concerning future events. Such statements are also subject to a number of uncertainties and factors outside Cushman & Wakefield’s control. Such factors include, but are not limited to, uncertainty regarding COVID-19 vaccination rates, infection rates, virus setbacks and behaviour of office workers. Should any Cushman & Wakefield estimates, projections and assumptions or these other uncertainties and factors materialize in ways that Cushman & Wakefield did not expect, there is no guarantee of future performance and the actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release. Any estimates or projections as to events that may occur in the future are based upon the best and current judgment of Cushman & Wakefield. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and the report referred to herein, and except to the extent required by applicable securities laws, Cushman & Wakefield expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any of them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional information concerning factors that may influence results is discussed under “Risk Factors” in Part I Item 1A of the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.