File photo

A majority of office tenants expect to shrink their space footprints further in the next three years, according to a CBRE report analyzing future demand in the office market.

In a national survey, 53 percent of respondents predicted they’ll occupy less space in 2026, compared with 46 percent that anticipate no change or expansion. And 40 percent said they have been revisiting their existing lease terms as tenants have gained more leverage amid rising vacancies.

CBRE received responses from 207 companies with U.S. offices for the survey of office occupier sentiment, released Friday.

The city of Hartford’s office vacancy rate dropped 0.7 percent to 24.3 percent at the end of the first quarter, according to a separate report by brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. The city registered 152,000 square feet of positive absorption.

“Though office footprints were being reassessed throughout the greater industry,  Hartford experienced only residual effects, as sublease vacancy ticked up a modest 20 bps to 3.5 percent,” Cushman & Wakefield researchers Steven Fiore and William Mitchell wrote.

In the nationwide CBRE survey released Friday, nearly two-thirds of respondents said their firms require some in-office work, more than double the previous year’s response. More than three quarters of respondents said they prefer employees to work in the office at least half of the time.

But executives were split on whether a recession would change their in-office work policies, with 45 percent predicting it would have no effect and 40 percent saying it would prompt more emphasis on a return to the office.

Tech companies also are less committed to in-office work than those in the financial sector, the CBRE survey indicated. Only 56 percent of tech companies require in-office work, compared with 71 percent of financial and professional services companies.

“Overall, we found that top executives at finance companies are more focused on office attendance, especially amid economic uncertainty, than are their counterparts at tech companies,” Julie Whelan, CBRE Global Head of Occupier Research, said in a statement.

With more leverage to negotiate with landlords, companies are seeking more flexibility in their real estate footprints. A slight majority indicated they want landlords to provide access to shared amenities, and 39 percent favored a rent structure tied to office attendance levels.