The current state of the world has left many to proclaim that a headquarters is no longer a necessity for the workplace.
This may lead some firms to cut down on their real estate footprint and adopt smaller offices in suburban areas closer to employees’ homes, also known as the “hub-and-spoke” model. Christopher Rhie, an associate principal at global architecture firm Buro Happold, said that in places like Silicon Valley, adopting this arrangement is easier since much of the workforce in this area does not need to physically be in the main office.
However, he argues that this model can only work for certain sectors of the workforce.
“Goldman Sachs built a giant tower just across the water [from New York City] in Jersey City, and nobody wanted to go there,” said Rhie. “That was how strongly the global financial sector workforce wanted to be on Wall Street. So even moving just across the Hudson River was too much of a leap. So that’s why it’s going to be highly dependent on the industry.”
Rhie added that his architecture firm canceled its WeWork membership after realizing it did not require the extra office space right now. Instead, the company has adopted technologies that make it easier to connect to its main office.