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PODCAST: Moody's Economist On The Factor That Will Determine The Future Of Office

Bisnow's audio series, Bisnow Reports, examines every facet of the international commercial real estate industry — from the murky future of retail and office to real estate’s reckoning with diversity to the effects of climate change on the built world, and so much more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music, or scroll down to listen in your browser.

Victor Calanog, head of Commercial Real Estate Economics at Moody's Analytics

The lingering presence of remote work and economic uncertainty is destabilizing the outlook for the office sector, but according to Moody’s Analytics Head of Commercial Real Estate Economics Victor Calanog, it is remote work's impact on career trajectories that is really going to show us how the workplace will look long-term.

“I wonder three, five years from now if it’s going to be an issue, ‘Hey, I chose hybrid, hey I chose to work three or five days a week,’” he said on this episode of Bisnow Reports. “Let’s take a look at where the careers are, and if there will be a centrifugal force pulling people back to the office.”

On this episode, he talks about the predictions that office vacancy will break records set in the savings and loans crisis of the early 1990s, his belief that it will be a rocky 18 to 24 months, and why he doesn’t trust employer surveys on return-to-work views.

“When they ask you what you feel, there are all sorts of things that convince you to select A or B — like, ‘Will my manager see this? Is this truly anonymous? How will this affect me, and I think my boss wants me to say I want to go back to the office,’” he said. “But then there’s revealed behavior, there’s what you actually do.”