In a tracking survey of global corporate real estate professionals at large corporations conducted by CoreNet Global, nearly all of the respondents reported the expanded use of virtual meetings and remote work instituted as a response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will last beyond the current crisis.From 25-27 March, 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 (111 responses) and service provider members (134 responses).

The survey was an update to previous surveys sent to the worldwide membership from 4-6 March and 17-19 March. Reflected in the most recent survey findings are intensified efforts to respond to COVID-19 and to respond to widespread government mandates to shelter at home (e.g., and to work from home):

  • 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 (vs. 78 percent in the previous survey)
  • Eighty-nine percent think that expanded use of remote working will last beyond the current crisis (vs. 72 percent in the previous survey)
  • Seventy-two percent have shut down one or more facilities, compared to 55 percent previously
  • Sixty percent have reduced hours of operation at one or more facilities, up from 39 percent
  • Sixty percent have established more stringent security (e.g., building entry) procedures for visitors, such as health screenings (up from 45 percent)
  • Sixty-seven percent of respondents say that real estate projects have been put on hold
  • A slight majority (51 percent) say that their company’s real estate footprint will shrink as a result of increased work from home
  • Ninety-seven percent of respondents are supporting a corporate mandate for expanded remote working, unchanged from the previous survey
  • Fifty-six percent of respondents reported that their companies have assisted local, state or federal governments with their response to COVID-19

Survey respondents’ long-term economic outlook is more bullish than their short-term outlook. 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 2.3. When that time frame is expanded to six months, the rating jumped to 3.0. (These ratings were identical for both end users and service providers.)