How Will COVID-19 Impact Office Space Rentals and Usage?

COVID-19 impact on office space rentalsThere are a lot of opinions about how people will use office space post COVID-19. At the end of the day this is uncharted territory for us all. Nobody really knows how companies will use office space after all of this dies down, however they are entitled to their own opinions. Below are some guesses to ponder as we work through this. As you can see more people think office space usage will decrease as a result of COVID-19

Office Space Usage Decrease

  1. Office space won’t be used as much
  2. Companies will use less space and will encourage more remote working.
  3. Office space will be used more for only holding meetings and having a home base to meet up.
  4. Even before COVID-19 plenty of successful companies of all sizes were fully remote.
  5. Technology will change to make us feel more in the presence of others when working remotely. 
  6. The COVID-19 quarantine has forced businesses to work remotely thus giving them the opportunity to realize that there is no reason for employees to drive to the office everyday or hop on a plan for every little meeting. Also they realize it’s possible to train people remotely then having to have them fly out to the company head quarters.
  7. Companies who once told employees it wasn’t possible to accommodate work from home will lose every disability accommodate battle going forward. With COVID forcing WFH everyone will see that it is possible.
  8. Some Fortune 500 companies are already talking about not going back to the office for the unforeseen future.
  9. Business will lease smaller office space square footage for the extroverts that want to socialize more. Introverts will still be allowed to WFH. 
  10. In person meetings will decrease and more focus on only having meetings when absolutely necessary.
  11. In person meetings will be reserved for team building, fixing problems, and having fun. 
  12. When a company grows to more than 5 people the norm will be 80% work from home or from their preferred coworking facility, and the remaining work from the office. Then meet periodically for live peer to peer experiences 5-10 days per month for 5 hours each time.
  13. Decision makers will realize how little office space they truly need. The number of remote workers will increase.
  14. If COVID-19 hasn’t taught us that needing an office is completely unnecessary then we aren’t learning the right lessons.
  15. So much time will be saved in not having to find a phone booth for private calls or being late for a meeting because the conference room was used by a group that did not reserve it.
  16. Some people predict companies will realize they don’t need as many employees than they have. More downsizing will occur more than working from home.
  17. Remote working will increase however many employees will struggle with it. How people adapt to this will determine their success.
  18. This is going to be a seismic rift that will take years to get back to normal.
  19. More remote working means companies have a larger talent pool to choose from. 
  20. This will be the ultimate experiment and the anti-open office space trend.
  21. Lot’s of companies will realize how much money they are wasting on office space and how much time their employees wast driving to and from the office. If companies can learn how to manage at home workers they will see a huge boost in productivity.
  22. Cubicle farm will be the thing of the past.
  23. Major companies are telling their employees that they probably won’t have everyone work in the office after COVID-19. 

Office Space Usage Will Change a Little

  1. Humans are humans, people will still want to lease office space
  2. There is value in the learning that takes place in overhearing the conversations in the office.
  3. Not every company will have a remote working policy. This will help them to scale easier as needed. More hoteling desks will be created. Fewer employees will have a permanent desk.
  4. There is going to be a tremendous backlash of people wanting to be around each other again, however they may not want to give up working from home entirely.
  5. People are seeing this as the 100 year storm and everything will be back to normal in a year.
  6. People have not been very productive during the COVID-19 issue for various reasons. Based on that management may be hesitant to roll out WFH.
  7. In a completely remote culture more ideas will be lost entirely or never be seeded. 
  8. More remote workers may deemphasize company cultures.

Coworking

Coworking will continue to specialize. Rather than just for being around people so you don’t have to work alone or the stage the company is in, they will specialize into the type of business and industry. People want to be around like minded people. People want specialization and be around people that specialize in what they do.

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