As the Covid-19 pandemic and related events unfold across the world, it’s difficult to predict what the future holds for office spaces. Human behavior has already changed, and the mindset of going back to the office for work has been affected, too. 

From an occupancy and facility management point of view, the focus for returning to the office would be on social distancing measures and hygiene standards. Both these factors would influence how much space is required now and in the future. Space utilization and optimization would need to account for the number of occupiers, cost, and operations. Thus, Covid-19 will impact office space demand in multiple ways. 

Offices Will be Relevant

Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 has shown the world that work can be done from the comfort of one’s home. Others are willing to debate that it has increased work productivity and reduced stress at the same time. But there are caveats. 

One of the primary limitations of the work from home trend is that the workplace plays a crucial role in attracting, retaining, and nurturing talents. For example, a young talent would love to assess the workplace environment and understand how employees are treated before joining the company. Besides, it is impossible to grow in a company solely following the work from home concept. Learning, development and up-skilling are important factors that can only happen over hours and hours of interactions within the team. 

Of course, keeping the option of work from home is a brilliant idea, but offices will remain relevant. 

Occupier Demand

It’s too early to say whether occupier demand will increase or decrease due to the pandemic. Experts believe that it will vary from sector to sector. For example, technology, e-commerce and pro-digital businesses would require less space and prefer virtual working. This will lead to shorter lease terms, thus reducing operating costs as well. 

Other organizations would need more space for every employee. Thus, they will retain 70% of employees and maintain existing space to follow social distancing rules. It also depends on whether people will ever feel comfortable again working near others. 

Safe Working Space 

Different organizations are mulling the idea of shifting to fewer working days in a week. It will eventually make employees feel safer in working spaces. But it’s essential to make flexible office spaces with many services, amenities and facilities that provide the same comfort as at home. To keep the productivity levels up, a clean and hygienic environment is a must. Plus, design solutions should aim at separation inside offices without impacting collaborations. 

Another significant impact of Covid-19 could be that businesses will opt for breaking the operation process and buying small office spaces at multiple locations. This will help in avoiding crowded office spaces. 

Office development going forwards will depend on the supply and demand in the market. Locations with modern office spaces will see demand, and any possible changes due to Covid-19 will become clear in the near future. 

Yardi Corom’s Occupancy Management Software helps companies with planning employee return and space utilization. It can help you understand occupancy metrics, compliance degree and risk exposure. You can also easily analyze post-Covid-19 employee attendance trends and undertake health surveys. For a 1-to-1 demo, please visit www.yardicorom.com/contact-us/.

Sanziana Bona

Sanziana Bona is a content marketing writer for Yardi Corom, a cloud-based software solution designed for commercial tenants and corporate occupiers and Yardi Kube, an all-in-one coworking management platform. She covers many commercial real estate related topics including FASB/IFRS compliance, lease accounting, coworking and flexile spaces, and more. You can connect with Sanziana via email.

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