The office has faced unprecedented challenges but shown incredible resilience in recent times. In the eye of the working from home storm, some questioned its value. However whilst there may be many virtues of working from home, there’s no denying that the sense of collaboration, connectivity and camaraderie from being surrounded by co-workers cannot be satisfactorily recreated on Zoom. Remote working, it would seem, can be a threat to creativity and culture.

Occupiers downsizing their office space is currently one of the greatest risks in the office market.  However, how office space is configured is also likely to change. Office densities look set to fall as occupiers look to offices to meet the needs of both their businesses and individuals which cannot be met by remote working. The extent to which reconfiguration of office space will absorb the impact of downsizing remains to be seen.

Demand for flexibility, an existing trend, has seen strong acceleration. Space as a service continues to be strong but traditional leasing models are also shifting to build in greater flexibility: lease terms are shortening and “plug and play” options are becoming an increasingly popular choice.

ESG is now firmly in the spotlight and its impact on value cannot be ignored. Businesses are increasingly looking to their office spaces as a means of supporting the wellbeing of their workforce as well as to deliver on ambitious sustainability commitments. Offices will need to be dynamic and flexible spaces, where employees feel safe and happy to work, enabling their businesses to flourish.

Embracing technology will be key, as will the collection and sharing of data.

The Covid-19 crisis has not been not the end of the office but a new beginning. One thing is certain however: collaboration between owners and occupiers will be fundamental in re-imagining the office as the workspace of choice for the future.

Find out more about our Real estate investment services, ESG and Sustainability.

  • Sarah Cooke

    Principal Associate

    Sarah Cooke

    Principal Associate

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