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.