Erik Schatzker reports the reactions of some of Wall Street’s big firms to the experiment of working from home. The coronavirus has shown many white-collar employers just how easy it is to have their employees work remotely. With more people working from home, demand for commercial real estate may be depressed. Schatzker writes:
James Gorman is hesitant to make predictions about the future with so much about the coronavirus pandemic still uncertain. One thing is clear, however: Morgan Stanley will have “much less real estate.”
“We’ve proven we can operate with no footprint,” Gorman, the firm’s chief executive officer, said in an interview Thursday with Bloomberg Television. “Can I see a future where part of every week, certainly part of every month, a lot of our employees will be at home? Absolutely.”
It’s an early glimpse of the longer-term changes Covid-19 holds in store for an economy that largely has been operating under stay-at-home orders for weeks. And it could spell tough times for commercial real estate in business centers with dense populations such as London, New York and Hong Kong.