FORTUNE -- Look around at work and you might notice that, while your own office or cubicle has stayed the same or shrunk, there are more conference rooms, storage areas, and -- yes -- empty work stations.
If so, your place of business is part of a nationwide trend, according to a new study by a Houston-based commercial real estate trade group called the International Facility Management Association.
As the economy continues its long snooze, "office space is not as densely packed as it used to be," the report notes. Vacancy rates have risen by about 5% in almost every industry. (The only exception: The federal government.) Companies now average 295 square feet of usable space per employee. Yet most office workers are assigned between 75 and 95 square feet. Middle managers get, on average, 120 square feet.
What's taking up the rest of the space? Collaborative work areas and amenities like day care centers and gyms account for much of it, while layoffs and stagnant hiring, the study's authors add, have turned many offices into "ghost towns, with empty cubicles becoming increasingly common."
If projected demand for office space is a leading indicator, the IMFA report suggests the economy isn't out of the woods yet: less than one-third (30%) of the employers surveyed expect to need more office space in the years ahead.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.80%||3.88%|
|15 yr fixed||3.20%||3.23%|
|30 yr refi||3.82%||3.93%|
|15 yr refi||3.20%||3.23%|
Today's featured rates:
|Ford Motor Co||8.29||0.05||0.61%|
|Advanced Micro Devic...||54.59||0.70||1.30%|
|Cisco Systems Inc||47.49||-2.44||-4.89%|
|General Electric Co||13.00||-0.16||-1.22%|
|Kraft Heinz Co||27.84||-2.20||-7.32%|
Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford charts her career path, from her first job to becoming the first openly gay CEO at a Fortune 500 company in an interview with CNN's Boss Files. More
Honda and General Motors are creating a new generation of fully autonomous vehicles. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
Whether you hedge inflation or look for a return that outpaces inflation, here's how to prepare. More