Following the first survey in April 2020, CBRE Research recently conducted another poll of 361 occupier clients in Japan to gauge the industry response to COVID-19. The key findings of the survey – conducted from May 21, 2020, to May 31, 2020.


  • The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote working, with large numbers of employees forced to work from home for extended periods. The relative success of this experiment has led many companies to consider allowing employees to work remotely on a more regular basis.
  • However, many companies were compelled to introduce remote working at very short notice, leaving them little or no time to formulate remote working guidelines for employees or provide the necessary technological support. This may partly explain why many respondents believe that remote working has negatively impacted employee productivity.
  • Respondents also cited a range of issues related to interpersonal relationships as challenges to remote working. These include communication among employees, team management and communication with clients.
  • The accelerated adoption of remote working has inevitably led to speculation over the role of the office, with some observers questioning the need for companies to retain physical office space. However, CBRE’s 2020 Global Occupier Sentiment Survey* found that only a small number of respondents (13%) believe that working remotely would "greatly diminish the importance of the office".
  • While employees may work remotely more frequently in future, CBRE believes that offices will take on even greater importance as hubs for employees to innovate, collaborate and be productive.