Hybrid workplace plans might not just be a better fit for employers and workers—they could cost less too. A report from flexible workspace software company Robin found that companies that instituted hybrid work schedules saved more than $10,000 per worker. The findings were part of a survey of 247 business owners and facilities managers that asked about companies’ hybrid work plans, opinions and strategies. Of those who took part in the study, 83 percent said they switched to a hybrid model to save money while 73 percent reported they would go to a hybrid model to cut costs before going to other options like layoffs.
The survey also found that just 11 percent of businesses surveyed said they currently use 100 percent of their office space. Most of those surveyed said they use less space than they did before the pandemic, while 41 percent of respondents said they currently use 75 percent of their office space. The threat of a recession is a big factor for many companies in deciding whether to shrink their office footprint. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed said they were worried about how a recession would affect whether they could keep their office space entirely.
The results, while good news for businesses looking to save money and avoid layoffs, could mean more bad news for landlords. High-quality office buildings are outpacing lower-tier buildings in leasing and occupancy by huge margins in many markets, as the flight to quality trend continues to play out. In San Francisco, occupancy within the top tier of Class A office buildings is 4.2 percent, while the office market’s overall vacancy rate is 21 percent, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield. Unfortunately, things could get even worse. Another recent study found that hybrid and remote work trends could lead to office building values in the U.S. falling 28 percent over the next decade.