It was just earlier this year when companies were embracing open office plans that hoped to foster collaboration and community. Now, the days of cubicles and private offices may be back on the menu.
Companies large and small have recently made the transition to remote working policies, and with that will inevitably be a change in physical office environments for the foreseeable future.
According to Colliers International, the national office vacancy rate was around 12%, offering a grim look at how the pandemic has impacted the real estate industry.
However, this dip in real estate could mean good things for the flexible office industry. In fact, Colliers expects that tenants will look towards more flexibility moving forward to decrease any leasing risks. A recent survey from the firm found that 44.5% of respondents want more flexibility built into traditional leases, without changes to the length of leases.
In the meantime, flexible office operators are having to reconfigure their shared workspaces to meet the new needs of today’s workforce.
“Tenants are evaluating their options for space with a lens for reducing long-term obligations while generating cost savings,” said Kevin Morgan, northwest regional president for USA Brokerage.
As of now, Colliers expects that the office market will slowly start to turn around by the fourth quarter of 2020 or in early 2021, but warns that the sector will struggle to show real strength until later next year or even 2022.