Those who are considering returning to the office are doing so cautiously due to the uncertainty of lease commitments and health protocols.
The last several months have left workers reeling as many were forced to work from home to stay safe from the ongoing pandemic. Real estate technology firm Yardi recently conducted a survey recently that revealed office users are still skeptical about what the workplace will look like in the future.
At Bisnow’s Trends Shaping the Future of Office webinar, Arjun Rao, director of global solutions at Yardi, explained that two-thirds of survey respondents have either experienced a big dip in revenue or believe they will.
“Occupancy is around 86% nationwide,” said Rao. “It was generally flat up until a month and a half ago. In the last month, it dropped 0.3%, which is a large monthly drop. What we are finding is that for many leasings that are expiring, generally what’s happening is the tenants are holding onto the space, and they are not wanting to make any rash decisions one way or another.”
The overall theme of the market is uncertainty. The demands of offices have evolved since the beginning of the year. Now, tenants want touchless technology, outdoor areas and air filtrations systems to ensure that their health is protected.
Additionally, the relationship between landlords and tenants is bound to transform as short-term, flexible leases grow in demand.
“[Tenants are saying,] ‘We are not going and signing a long-term lease. I am going to go where the talent is, this is going to be a shorter relationship’,” said Justin Segal, president of Boxer Property.
What A Post-pandemic Workplace Strategy Could Look Like
Companies are at a crossroads as they consider which path to take when it comes to office takeup. While working remotely has been readily embraced by several industries, it still has some downsides that are begging to be acknowledged.
Flexible offices once made up a small portion of the commercial real estate market, but has been an up-and-coming sector for years now. With employees seeking for more flexibility and agility even after the pandemic, operators could see a massive spike in demand.
This has led to companies looking at the hub-and-spoke model, which would consist of several smaller offices in the suburbs and one main hub in the city.
With this real estate strategy, employees can continue to enjoy their decreased commutes, while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Although the flexible office market has taken a big beating over the last several months, the industry could potentially come back stronger than ever with the hub-and-spoke model.
Adopting these workspaces is not only beneficial for employees, but companies also get to reap their own benefits. For instance, flexible offices are fully-furnished with everything a traditional office needs and more, allowing companies to save money on overhead expenses.
Additionally, businesses do not have to commit to long-term leases with flexible offices as they typically operate on a short-term basis. This alleviates risks that come with lengthy leases, particularly during the pandemic.
Job Satisfaction Relies On Your Colleagues
A new study that is based on data all the way from 1949 suggests that job satisfaction is reliant on the relationship with the people you are working with, rather than your interest in the work itself.
“To be satisfied with a job, you don’t have to worry too much about finding a perfect fit for your interests because we know other things matter too,” said Levin Hoff, an assistant professor of psychology at Houston University. “As long as it’s something you don’t hate doing, you may find yourself very satisfied if you have a good supervisor, like your coworkers, and are treated fairly by your organization.”
The analysis of 39,600 interviews conducted over 65 years also revealed that, although interest in the job may not matter in terms of satisfaction, it can help with career prospects.
Hoff adds that being interested in your work plays a role in job performance, as well as raises and promotions.
Although it has long been suggested by career guides to find a job that is within your interests, it may not be an indicator of long-term job satisfaction.
A study of 2,500 U.S. workers last year found that fewer than half of respondents said their satisfaction was dependent upon their pay or work-life balance. Instead, job security, paid holidays and workplace environment were seen as top priorities.
Aayat is an editor for the Daily Digest based in Lexington, Kentucky. She has worked with local coworking spaces since August of 2017 and enjoys taking her firsthand knowledge to write about the fascinating, constantly evolving world of flexible workspaces.