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Colliers' report shows COVID-19 could be catalyst for remote working to become the norm

According to New Global Workplace Study, Four Out of Five Employees Surveyed Want to Work from Home at Least Once a Week Post COVID-19 Crisis

LOS ANGELES (APRIL 15, 2020) – Leading global real estate services and investment management company, Colliers International today released early findings of its inaugural Global Workplace Survey that gathers insights from people around the world surrounding working from home amidst COVID-19. The initial results showed that the coronavirus pandemic could be the catalyst for materially increased working from home in the future.

“We are all part of an immediate remote-working experiment by the entire working global population which will have a significant impact on the new normal,” said, Scott Nelson, CEO, Occupier Services | Global at Colliers. “It is essential to understand how people are experiencing working from home during this challenging period, and this study from our Workplace Advisory team at Colliers is uncovering compelling global data that will help everyone moving forward.” 

This initial study, among the first of its kind, commenced in March just as employees were immediately transitioning into new and varying work-from-home circumstances. It is the first part in a series of related studies tracking these survey respondents as their remote work situations evolve. Early findings indicated that the coronavirus pandemic would bring about fundamental changes in ways of working. The survey has generated over 3,000 responses from over 25 countries so far, from a broad spectrum of office-based professionals revealing the following: 

  • Globally, four out of five employees surveyed would like to work remotely one day a week or more after the COVID-19 crisis is over.
  • Of those who never previously worked from home prior to COVID-19, 71% would like to work remotely at least one day a week in future.
  • In the U.S., 45% of Americans would like to work from home one to two days a week.
  • 52% of those surveyed believe their productivity has not changed as a result of working from home, while 24% believe their productivity and ability to concentrate has increased. 23% said their productivity has declined.
  • In the U.S., those with a dedicated room to work found their ability to concentrate improve dramatically. They also reported their ability to be creative was better at home than at work by a 2:1 ratio.
  • Productivity has increased most in the financial services, professional services and technology industries and has decreased most in the legal, education and research sectors.
  • 80% of U.S. respondents report their manager can manage them virtually
  • 76% of respondents still feel connected to their team while working remotely, despite the physical distance. However, 58% believe they are better able to collaborate at the office than rather than from home. 
  • Almost 75% of respondents are meeting on-line to collaborate.
  • Americans noted that they do miss some things about the office: being able to collaborate with colleagues in person, bumping into coworkers and work-life being separate from home life.
  • In the U.S., half of U.S. respondents say their work-life balance has improved as a result of working from home. Half of the respondents who have children living at home with them have found their productivity unchanged since working from home.
“This global experiment in suddenly having to work remotely has shattered a lot of myths about what is possible while at the same time emphasizing the value of being connected.  This collective experience has accelerated our move into a future where work and life, workplace and home are blended, and hopefully balanced,” said Keith Perske, Senior Vice President, Workplace Advisory at Colliers. 

“Having our finger on the pulse of where the global workforce is heading is invaluable to our clients and to the industry as a whole. By better understanding the needs of respondents, we can anticipate and shape the future of the industry in a way that is tailored to their desires and produces a more successful and productive workforce,” concluded Nelson. 

To take part in the current survey and future studies, please visit:

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About Colliers International

Colliers International (NASDAQ, TSX: CIGI) is a leading real estate professional services and investment management company. With operations in 68 countries, our more than 15,000 enterprising professionals work collaboratively to provide expert advice to maximize the value of property for real estate occupiers, owners and investors. For more than 25 years, our experienced leadership, owning approximately 40% of our equity, has delivered compound annual investment returns of almost 20% for shareholders. In 2019, corporate revenues were more than $3.0 billion ($3.5 billion including affiliates), with $33 billion of assets under management in our investment management segment. Learn more about how we accelerate success at, Twitter @Colliers or LinkedIn.