The last several months has left offices in Toronto largely vacant as millions of workers have been shifted to working from home for the time being.
Although the promise of a vaccine is approaching, companies are still uncertain when it will be safe to bring their employees back into the workspace safely.
Some large organizations have even taken steps to transitioning their workforce to permanent remote work positions.
The city itself is expecting a decrease of 33% of office floor space, with only 5% of employees saying they anticipate returning to the workspace full-time.
Now, Toronto is seeing around 2.5 million square feet of office space up for sublease, which is four times the amount pre-pandemic.
“Downtown, a decline in sublet available space of 159,000 square feet per quarter would be needed — double the fastest rate recorded in any peak-to-valley period during the last 20 years,” wrote Bill Argeropoulos, principal at global commercial real estate firm Avison Young. “Clearly, significant pent-up demand would be required, especially given the amount of new office space that will be delivered downtown between now and 2024.”
The future of coworking is also a mystery. Although they share similar risks that traditional offices do, they have the benefit of offering flexible, short-term leases that allow workers tired of being at home a safe haven.
That is why some experts predict that the coworking industry will have an uptick in demand as companies seek office space that is less risky than taking out long-term leases.