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Office Trends Post Pandemic

Here are ways we are going to start understanding what the new office trends will be. Look for these in the months to come as results come back from home offices. If there’s productivity at home, then things will change.

We can look to China for the first indication of office trends but keep in mind they always go much stricter than the US, so assume American companies will go lighter on some of these measures, but they will look to them for ideas.  Europe could also help provide a look at how we react.

Manufacturing and Size

Office space could become larger in some respects where people can’t work from home. Wider hallways, larger conference/break rooms, receptionist areas, and more partitions between people. Possibly even more private offices again instead of bullpens. Offices could also become smaller due to the percentage of people that could continue to work from home if their role allows for it, or due to the number of people laid off who won’t be hired back.

Industrial space could also expand if a manufacturing facility has to redesign its workflow and spread factory workers apart. Factories and warehouses have employees that can’t work from home and have to come into an assembly line.  Six Sigma and Lean Thinking could benefit as a result.

All of this could possibly balance out the total size of an office for a company if they send, for example, their accounting department or salespeople to work virtually from home while spreading out the remaining employees in their same current floor plan.

We know this will change the way people use their office but we still can’t say if it will change the size of the office for everyone just yet. Until we see what productivity from home looks like we won’t know what the use of the office will look like.

Impact on Retail

Retail could be changed forever given how many people touch products before they decide to buy, especially in fitting rooms.  Technology and more frequent cleaning procedures will come to serve as solutions.  Stores could require even less space because fewer products will be around to touch and clean.

It’s still anyone’s guess what coworking could become. It could adapt and be a great flexible short-term solution for companies that get rid of their longer-term leases due to virtual work.  Cleaning protocols will definitely have to be modified though due to the nature of shared space, desks, mail areas, and break room coffee.

Landlords who provide tenant appreciation gatherings in their lobbies will likely rethink that and find other ways to offer a similar appreciation amenity to their clients and tenants.

Vendors who provide the following could be good businesses to watch:

  • Ventilation.
  • UV light.
  • Density screening.
  • Video monitoring.
  • Temperature monitoring.
  • Cleaning protocols.
  • Quick-result testing kits.
  • Video conferencing.
  • First-Aid kits will be expanded to include masks, gloves, thermometers, thermal imaging devices, and more sanitizers.

Reminder, just like the adoption of new technology in the business world, a lot of these changes have been considered way before this coronavirus. The difference is now the implementations are being accelerated, so don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Call experts that know the studies and can help consult on how they best fit your business.

There’s definitely one thing that will change for the better. You’ll always wear pants for a video conference from now on.

Call Fortress CRE, so we can talk expert advice on where your real estate strategy should be focused in West Central Florida.  Fortress Commercial Real Estate (CRE) adds value to business owners looking to grow through their real estate, office, and building needs.