Whilst office take-up remains below trend for 2021 (based on a Market Outlook Report published by CBRE), long-term recovery is expected whilst uncertainties are resolved. Additionally, a recent PWC survey found that less than 20% of executives want to return to the office in its pre-pandemic format. It is definitely important to establish what the changes we’ve seen/are seeing to the office market and below we will discuss five of the most significant changes to the traditional office market.
1. Office Design
“Work From Home” is here to stay and people will not be excited to come back to office cubicles that offer a lower quality working experience when compared to a home office setting. As a result, the square footage per worker will look to increase for a re-opening office market to entice workers to come back. In addition, even without government enforcement, many workers still aim to follow social distancing measures for the foreseeable future (or until COVID-19 becomes a distant memory).
2. Flexible Tenancies
Throughout the easing of lockdown procedures, there has been an increased demand for greater flexibility from landlords. “Sharing the risk” is a concept which is becoming commonplace in the commercial real estate as many tenants struggle to commit to extended lease periods based on the current market. Whether or not this is offered can be a dealbreaker for smaller businesses experimenting with the effectiveness of operating out of an office as opposed to remote working solutions.
3. Shared Office Spaces
Flexible/Shared office spaces have become especially more commonly used post-pandemic. Choosing a flexible workspace can cut out significant costs, including securing leases on an individual offices , purchasing equipment, and managing space. That allows businesses who settle in a flexible workspace to move straight to the important part of running a business – doing the work. Start ups that are trying to run as lean a business as possible can see particular benefits from this model.
4. Tenant Matching
Procuring tenants for commercial spaces such as offices has always been a long process. However, through the use of new tools such as Qualfiyr‘s automatic tenant matching system, the time lost generating high quality leads can be greatly reduced. With this process made faster and easier, agencies who are serious about finding high quality tenants fast have many more options.
5. Work Culture
Following the pandemic, businesses must provide employees with “reasons to convene” which must be seen as more effective than the utilisation of online meeting rooms and the like. This includes effective onboarding processes (it can be hard joining a company when you haven’t met anyone in person!) and collaborative meetings. This will require more more physical spaces for employees in the form of breakout rooms and meeting areas which further increases the square footage per employee.
Whilst a decrease in demand for office space seems like cause for panic, when considering the individual factors for this change, the industry can in fact be seen as re-configuring the the new needs of businesses. The understanding of an office as “the place to work” is transitioning to “the place for work” with newer designs of offices focusing more on the value that can be provided in helping employees complete their work as opposed to simply providing simple facilities which most employees can enjoy from the comfort of their own home. The commercial real estate industry will adapt and it will become ever more important for tenants to be connected with spaces that fit their specific needs.
There are many new easier ways for tenants to be connected with landlords and Qualifyr can help with this. Fill in the short form below to book a demo with one of our founders!