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Business Real Estate

One Year into the Pandemic, Our Thoughts Changed

Peter Musila 6 months ago

It’s been a year. One whole year. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the “novel coronavirus” a pandemic, setting off a cascade of stay-at-home orders by the government across the country.

Little did we guess the death toll would keep on rising, and many of us would turn our homes into offices. The past year has been a crazy roller-coaster ride for real estate and shutdowns affecting different places in different ways not only in the country, but globally.

Across the board, one year after many companies sent office workers home to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, corporate leaders are still grappling with how to reopen workspaces safely.

They face even bigger questions about how much office space they need and what incentives they might require to lure people back. Many have learned over the past 12 months that their employees can work from just about anywhere.

So that means the office must serve a much more compelling purpose: A hub for collaboration that can’t be accomplished virtually and a place to retain and train an incoming workforce.

While some companies are using the health crisis as an opportunity to get out of leases, some are bucking the trend. Tech companies, in particular, have been gobbling up office space.

That’s despite many of them being first to embrace the remote-work lifestyle. Companies are an advantage of suppressed rents and more flexible lease terms. Many of these businesses also view the office as a perk to lure top talent in the coming years.

So with so much uncertainty still, far fewer answers, and more opportunity for innovation than there’s been in a generation, with vaccine landing in Kenya the other day; what happens next? What changes should we expect in the real estate sector?

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