Survey Shows mostly Office Closures Due to COVID-19. Product review platform provider Digital.com discovered in a survey of US businesses that the pandemic has transformed offices across the country, with many remaining permanently closed.
“Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic sent employees scattering to home offices and remote locations so businesses could continue operating while minimizing exposure to the deadly virus, speculation erupted about what this temporary change would mean for the future of how Americans work,” the report’s authors wrote. “Now that the future has arrived, it appears that some things have changed for the better.”
According to a survey of 1,250 businesses that had on-site employees prior to the pandemic, many now have “a significant portion” of workers working remotely while closing “some or all of their office space, primarily due to employees wanting to continue working remotely.”
Since March 2020, 69 percent of businesses in the United States have “permanently closed some or all of their office spaces,” while 37 percent have permanently closed all of their office space. In the next six months, 39% of respondents expect to close some or all of their office space. The top reason for businesses permanently closing office spaces was “the majority of employees wanting to work from home.”
According to the research, 41% of businesses have downsized their existing office space since March 2020, while 51% are “planning to keep office space to allow employees to choose to work fully remotely, indefinitely.”
The authors of the report stated that due to advancements in technology and telecommunications, the shift to remote work was well underway prior to the pandemic. “However, prior to March 2020, only about 6% of U.S. workers worked primarily from home,” according to the report. “After the pandemic, that number jumped to one-third of all workers.”
According to the report, “what once appeared to be a temporary way of operating has now become permanent.” It is worth noting that this shift is most noticeable in larger companies with more than 500 employees.
According to the report, “our survey found that 45 percent of businesses with more than 500 employees permanently closed all of their office space, 36 percent closed some of their offices, and 64 percent downsized office spaces that they kept.” “Companies with 10 or fewer employees were the most likely not to have closed any office space, with nearly half remaining open.”