Although the promise of a vaccine is inching closer and closer to reality, that doesn’t mean workers will be able to flock back to the office anytime soon.
At the moment, about two-third of U.S. workers who are working remotely want to do so in the future as well, but coming back into the office may never look the same again.
The last several months have forced companies to upend their regular operations to shift to a distributed workforce. This has allowed businesses to be choosier about what they want out of their offices as the commercial real estate industry attempts to rebound.
In a post-pandemic workforce, the priority will become nurturing the culture of the company, and the office will play a role in doing so.
“We have the most flexible work schedule, ambitious paternity and maternity programs, unlimited vacation,” said Nick Romito, founder and CEO of commercial real estate tech firm VTS. “Even as liberal as we are to give people their flexibility, it’s still really hard. You invest all this time in building a really good team, those teams want to be together. Pushing ideas out of each other is really hard to do when you’re staring at a screen all day.”
However, companies are navigating how to keep hosting virtual gatherings in a way that is thoughtful and keeps employees engaged.
But the office isn’t going anywhere. Instead, it will become a more flexible, health-conscious place that operates on short-term leases and touchless technology.