Mario Toneguzzi’s guest on Business Insider: John Duda, President of Real Estate Management Services for Colliers Canada, discusses the state of the office market in Canada and what it will look like coming out of the pandemic.

Colliers Canada’s new office report – Office Recovery: The Great Experiment – explores how companies are preparing to return to the office.

Key findings from Office Recovery: The Great Experiment:

 The great hybrid work experiment is just beginning, with most companies saying they will implement a hybrid model of work.

–  Employers are largely undecided on how to manage a combination of in-person and remote work, with 66 per cent unsure on the number of days employees will be expected to be in the office and 33 per cent unsure on how this will be managed across the various parts of their organization. Colliers expects a lot of experimentation with in-person and remote work that may drive a heightened need for flexibility in meeting office space needs.

Remote work is negatively affecting office culture, and all industries – except for the tech industry – cited the need for physical human presence as the main driver behind their decision to return to the office full-time.

–  Maintaining a strong office culture has been notably difficult to achieve through remote work, with employers feeling like that sense of culture has diminished by 28 per cent. Opportunities for meaningful collaboration, employee productivity, and employee well-being have declined by approximately 20 per cent. The tech industry, prioritizing the ability to innovate and be creative, may require a different office layout compared to tenants from other industries; one that promotes innovation vs having static desks for each employee.

Office vacancies are predicted to increase by 5.7 per cent within the next four years.

–  As more companies adopt a hybrid model of work, they will reduce their traditional office leasing footprint. However, almost one in four tenants expressed a need for flexible office space. The predicted 5.7 per cent increase in vacancies could be used to provide flexible space to tenants.

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