How Remote Work Will Impact the Future of Commercial Real Estate

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How Remote Work Will Impact the Future of Commercial Real Estate

Remote work used to be something many employees desired but which few companies offered. Everything changed in 2020 with COVID-19 and the need for social distancing. Now many employers have no choice but to allow telecommuting to stay operational and protect their employees.

After experimenting with remote work, many corporations have come to realize its benefits, including lower overheads and improved work-life balance for employees. In fact, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is considering making telecommuting permanent for most of the Twitter team.

If most businesses choose to become fully remote, what will happen to commercial real estate developers and investors? In response to this question, commercial real estate stakeholders now see that:

  • Large traditional offices have become less desirable. Businesses want flexible solutions they can quickly adapt to meet changing needs. Businesses also want to avoid overpaying for workspaces by leasing smaller areas for each worker.
  • Employees don’t like standard work settings, but neither do they always enjoy working from home. A solution offering the benefits of both would better satisfy the desires of workers: for example, a workspace that provides a team-oriented environment combined with the freedoms of remote work.

Even after COVID-19 subsides, the demand for traditional commercial spaces may continue to decline. But that doesn’t mean commercial real estate has come to its end.

How Can Commercial Real Estate Brokers Survive and Thrive?

If commercial property developers can adapt to the new normal, they can remain profitable. To accomplish this, they must deliver the following:

  • Flexible Spaces: Brokers can be more flexible by converting traditional workspaces into workstations. Freelancers, startups, and other categories of workers can rent as much or as little space as they need for their unique needs.
  • Shorter Leases: Because employees will have the option of working from home or at a workstation, brokers cannot limit renting to monthly or yearly options. Customers should be able to choose between hourly, daily, or weekly rental options to suit their specific requirements.
  • Comfort: The furnishing and design of commercial properties must also change. Commercial developers should focus on creating workspaces that are less formal, more engaging, and relaxing. Google and Facebook have experimented with such informal workspaces to impressive effect.

Contact MKS&H

Our business consultants can help your commercial real estate company identify and fully utilize current market opportunities. Call us today for an initial consultation.

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