IWG CEO Says Commercial Real Estate Has a “Shock Ahead”

The conversation isn’t about getting back to the office, IWG CEO Mark Dixon told CNBC.

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According to Mark Dixon, CEO of flexible office firm IWG, the commercial real estate sector is facing a “shock”, but the opportunities ahead are huge.

Technology has enabled ‘fundamental seismic change’ in commercial real estate as the Covid-19 pandemic forced millions to work from home for the first time, Dixon said – and workers don’t necessarily want that things go back to how they were before.

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

He added that employees are now working more productively “than they ever have before”.

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

He says “there is a shock ahead” for commercial real estate going forward. “Look at the United States. You have some of the biggest real estate companies in the world return assets to their bank.

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

“They’re everywhere, it’s a network of gas stations, [you can] drive anywhere in the country. The work will be like this. You’ll find workplaces everywhere, we’re networking them all and making them easy to use,” he said.

“We have so many opportunities in the industry we’re in.”

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