‘We are living the future right now’ — ‘Shark’ Robert Herjavec says work-from-home here to stay

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KEY POINTS
  •  “Shark Tank” investor Robert Herjavec said people should not underestimate the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic on remote working.
  • “We have been forced to change, whether we like it or not. Yeah, people will go back to offices, but work from home, remote offices, are the future,” he told CNBC.
‘We are living the future right now’ — Robert Herjavec says work-from-home here to stay
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Shark Tank” investor Robert Herjavec told CNBC on Thursday that people should not underestimate the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic on remote working.

“We have been forced to change, whether we like it or not. Yeah, people will go back to offices, but work from home, remote offices, are the future,” he said on “Squawk Alley.” “We are living the future right now.”

Herjavec, CEO and founder of Herjavec Group, which provides cybersecurity products and services to business, said he believes that commercial rents will be impacted as a result. He said his company rents 52,000 square feet in one location and the lease is coming up for renewal in about a year.

“There is no way I’m renewing at 52,000 square feet. My offices will be smaller, and I think most people are going to reduce their footprint from an office perspective,” he said.

Some larger companies across the U.S. have signaled they intend to expand their remote working policies, even after government stay-at-home orders put in place due to the Covid-19 outbreak are relaxed. In addition to learning that some positions can be done effectively from home, the move could also provide valuable cost savings after the economic consequences from the pandemic.

Facebook said Thursday that most of its employees will be allowed to continue to work from home through the end the year.

Nationwide Insurance recently announced it would be accelerating its transition to a “hybrid operating model,” with employees at only four main campuses continuing to work from the office. Employees in most other locations will work remotely. It hopes to exit most of those other offices by Nov. 1.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman has also said the bank will need “much less real estate” in the future.

Bob Sulentic, the CEO of commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE, said on “Power Lunch” the companies that CBRE advises still expect to return to the office in some capacity even as working from home increases.

“We’re going to see an ability to go into the office to collaborate and so forth. People are going to be more spread out. Space is going to be less densely used. We’re going to have to see what that means for office space,” Sulentic said.

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