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20% of Corporate Executives Say They Plan to Reduce Office Space

Another 72 percent of executives surveyed by the American Institute of CPAs said they didn’t plan to downsize.

(Bloomberg)—More than one-in-five company executives expect a reduction in office space in the coming year, according to the American Institute of CPAs survey.

Businesses planning to shrink their commercial real estate footprint by 10% to 24% over the next 12 months saw the most significant change among those surveyed, according to the report released Thursday.

While about 72% of executives said their organizations didn’t plan to downsize, some are stuck in long-term leases without escape clauses so are unable to adjust.


The data reflects a changing vision of work that was accelerated by the pandemic. While cities and office building owners want workers to get back to the office safely and quickly, many employees have enjoyed working from home.

“As the recovery progresses and we move toward the next-normal, more and more people will return to their traditional places of work,” said Ash Noah, vice president at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. “But this doesn’t change the fundamental shifts we’re seeing toward more virtual and remote operations.”

The survey polled 693 CFOs, controllers, and other senior-level CPAs and management accountants. It was conducted from Feb. 2-24, and the margin of error was less than 3 percentage points.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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