7 in 10 Businesses Permanently Closed Some or All Office Spaces, Since the Start of the Pandemic – Digital.Com Survey

Digital.com, a leading independent review website for small business online tools, products, and services, has published a new survey report to gain insight into future workplace trends and the move from in-person workspaces to permanent remote work. Research experts examined responses from 1,250 businesses that had staff working on-site before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sixty-nine percent of businesses reported that they have permanently closed some or all office spaces in favor of a hybrid or fully remote work model since March 2020. The primary reason for this shift is that most employees have expressed a desire to continue working from home after having to do so during the pandemic. Other reasons for closing office space include saving money, equal or increased employee productivity at home, and continued concern for the health of their employees.

In contrast, businesses with 10 or fewer employees were more likely to keep all office spaces open. Nearly half of businesses from that group reported no office closures, while 45% of businesses with over 500 employees reported closing all of them.

Interestingly, only 16% of business owners who permanently closed all their office spaces see no benefits to having employees in the office. The rest cite benefits including improved productivity, creativity, communication, company culture, and employee oversight.

“Despite the paradigm shift towards a remote workforce, most employers still feel there are benefits to having employees working in-person,” says Dennis Consorte, startup consultant and small business expert. “The key to success in the Age of Connected Intelligence is giving workers the flexibility to choose environments that match their personalities and job functions, whether at home or in the office.”

As a concession to having fewer employees on-site, 58% of companies have downsized their office space. Furthermore, half of employers maintaining office space will allow employees to keep working remotely.

Digital.com’s research team developed this report to share insightful data on workplace trends in a post-pandemic world. The survey was created and paid for by Digital.com and administered by Pollfish, the online survey platform, from April 12-13, 2021. To access the complete report, please click here