The past year has forced companies to completely rethink their commercial real estate strategies, and that includes the role of the headquarters.
Some organizations have opted to forgo their headquarters altogether, such as cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase, who announced that it would be transitioning to a fully remote workforce as part of its recent IPO filing.
However, ditching the headquarters is still a rare move that few companies make. Culture can sometimes take a hit without an office to bring colleagues together.
“What’s really rising to the top of priorities is bringing people together face-to-face,” said Tamar Moy, executive managing director of workplace strategy and human experience at Newmark Northeast. “That’s especially important spiritually, in the sense of maintaining an organizational ethos for what it means to be company X. Meeting people, interacting, is important for talent recruitment. So the importance [of a headquarters] is higher as the need to bring people together is higher, even if the hub is smaller.”
Headquarters that typically serve as a place to gather, rather than an everyday work office, can evolve to meet the new flexible workforce by creating more collaborative areas, conference rooms and event spaces.
Some companies have also turned to moving their headquarters or adding a second headquarters in secondary cities. For instance, CBRE moved its headquarters to Dallas from Los Angeles last year likely due to the lower cost of living in the city.