As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the way we live and work, many companies have shifted to remote work models in order to protect their employees and maintain operations. While work from home policies have been a necessary response to the pandemic, they are also having a significant impact on the commercial real estate market.
Increased demand for home offices: With more employees working from home, the demand for home office space has increased significantly. Many employees are now looking for homes that have dedicated office space or are willing to invest in converting a spare bedroom into an office. This shift towards working from home may result in a reduction of demand for office space in commercial buildings.
Rather, we are seeing employees who simply want flexibility in their schedule; as work life balance takes a center stage.
Changes in office design: Many companies are rethinking their office design in light of the pandemic. Some are moving towards flexible office spaces that can be easily reconfigured to accommodate social distancing. Others are considering moving to smaller offices or adopting hybrid work models that allow employees to work from home for part of the week. These changes may result in a decrease in the demand for large office spaces.
Offices can't be stuffy cubicles anymore, there is an increased need for social spots, employee benefits and more.
Increased demand for suburban office space: As employees move away from urban centers to more affordable suburban areas, there has been an increase in demand for suburban office space. This shift towards the suburbs may result in a decrease in demand for office space in urban areas.
Gas prices have caused some to rethink why they need to dive in the office in the first place.
Potential for repurposing of office buildings: With the decrease in demand for office space, there is a potential for the repurposing of office buildings. Some buildings may be converted into residential or mixed-use spaces, while others may be used for storage or logistics purposes.
While work from home policies have been necessary to maintain operations during the pandemic, they are also having a significant impact on the commercial real estate market. As companies adapt to new ways of working, the demand for office space may decrease, and there may be a shift towards more flexible and smaller office spaces. It will be important for commercial real estate agents to keep a close eye on these trends and adapt their strategies accordingly.