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CEO says ‘shock is coming’ in commercial real estate as return-to-office plans

BusinessReal EstateCEO says 'shock is coming' in commercial real estate as return-to-office plans

The conversation is not about returning to the office, IWG CEO Mark Dixon told CNBC.

Bloomberg / Contributor / Getty Images

A “setback” is coming for the commercial real estate industry, but the opportunities ahead are huge, according to Mark Dixon, CEO of flexible office company IWG.

Technology enabled a “fundamental seismic shift” in commercial real estate as the Covid-19 pandemic forced millions of people to work from home for the first time, Dixon said — and workers don’t necessarily want things to be the same.

“There’s this perception that people like to come to a central business district. They don’t. It’s a complete waste of time and money and they don’t want to do that,” Dixon told CNBC on Tuesday on “Squawk Box Europe.” .

He said that the employees are now working more productively than before.

Dixon founded IWG – formerly known as Regus – in 1989. Now, it has more than 3,300 offices in 120 countries.

He says looking ahead “a blow is coming” to commercial real estate. “Look at the United States. You have some of the biggest property companies in the world Handing over the property back to your bank.,

But it’s not all bad news; Dixon said there is a “real opportunity” to change the use of the real estate. In fact, he said that offices in the future may actually function similar to gas stations.

“They’re everywhere, it’s a network of petrol stations, [you can] Drive anywhere in the country. Work will be like this. You’ll find workspaces everywhere, we network them all together and make them easy to use,” he said.

“We’ve got such an enormous amount of opportunity in the business we’re in.”

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