Will the Pandemic make Office Space irrelevant?

office space

A myriad of publications have already pronounced office space a trend of the past as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The most publicized reasons focus on a postapocalyptic world where people do not want to be around people: Office buildings contain UV lights to disinfect all areas at night, and employees are placed into rooms with glass dividers and do not even think about an office social gathering. Commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield went even further by introducing a new concept called the “6 feet office” in the Netherlands. In this concept, employees are kept at a six-foot distance and assured by a certificate stating that all measures have been taken to implement a virus-safe office.

The second-most mentioned argument is that people are getting used to working from their homes, and companies will want to save money by allowing their employees to continue working at home. The argument goes further, noting that as the technology is developing and employees are getting used to work-life flexibility, they will want to work from home. This idea sounds like a win-win: Companies save money on real estate by using expanded office space or employees’ homes, and employees have a better work-life balance by working from home.

While this crisis will have an impact on real estate, and office space will be reimagined, this health crisis is not an event that I believe will make offices irrelevant. In the past few years prior to the pandemic, we learned a lot about what building occupiers crave in their workspaces. Employees thrive on daylight, community, active living and nutrition. The most popular and best performing buildings contained large windows, community managers that scheduled group meetups and idea exchanges, yoga classes, and nutritional education. Why did these concepts attract us to lease space in new modern buildings? Because humans are social beings who crave physical connections.

Postapocalyptic office space will not work because it does not foster what humans need. Humans thrive off each other; we mirror emotions and body movements. We study people’s faces. We hug for comfort, and we exchange ideas and grow by playing off our peers. Office buildings, much like restaurants and cafes, are vehicles for social interaction. It is not a coincidence that the office and café/bar cultures were merging before cities went into lockdown.

By isolating ourselves, we are potentially creating another form of disease. Science has demonstrated for decades that social interaction is critical for mental health and longevity. According to one study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, both the amount and quality of social relationships one has impacts their mental health, health behavior, physical health and mortality risk. People who are persistently lacking in social contacts are more likely to experience elevated levels of physical stress and inflammation, which in turn affects bodily functions.

Preventing the increase in mental health problems will not happen in a glass box office. Quite the contrary, work-centered mental health problems may instead be reduced by innovative design that will provide employees with a space that promotes focus, increases social interaction and reduces stress and anxiety. Office space of the future will not be a room full of glass dividers, but a carefully designed space that will protect the physical, mental and social well-being of our workers.

Secondly, home offices, no matter how plush, are not an ideal work environment for all workers. As Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom pointed out, many people do not have an adequate office and are working in their bedrooms or shared common rooms, with noise from their animals, partners, family or roommates. Constant distractions from family members, thermal comfort, sounds and poor nourishment contribute significantly to the mental overwhelm of workers. In a new data analysis by Aternity, U.S. worker productivity dropped by 7.2% with the pandemic-prompted instruction to move all possible workers remote in March 2020.

The idea that the home office stifles productivity and innovation is not new. In 2013, then-CEO of Yahoo Marissa Mayer infamously banned working from home. The memo to employees reads in part, “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

Her move was widely publicized as a productivity killer that had no room in Silicon Valley. However, months later, it was revealed that her decision was made based on data showing that remote Yahoo employees were not all logging into the remote network to do their jobs. In Yahoo’s case, working from home stifled some workers’ productivity. But moreover, it also removes the social interaction that gives us energy and makes teams feel more cohesive.

While technological achievement has improved the remote work experience, it is not a replacement for human interaction. Humans will still crave interaction, and companies will still look for innovation. Our job as commercial real estate professionals will become focused on how to create well-designed, healthier office spaces that foster innovation and human interaction.

Source: Forbes

You May also Like this

brrrr
What is the BRRRR ...

If you're part of the business or plan on breaking into it,...

Macroeconomic
Macroeconomic Issues in Real ...

Understanding macroeconomic risk is critical to a successful strategy. While this form...

illiquidity premium
What is Illiquidity Premium ...

Illiquidity premium is the excess return an investor stands to earn in...

renewal
The procedure for the renewal ...

According to Section 1 of the , the law vests the ownership of...

pandemic
Post COVID-19 pandemic and ...

Adapt. Innovate. Accelerate. This is the mantra for any business right now...

Real Estate Wholesaling
Real Estate Wholesaling Pros ...

wholesaling is a kind of arbitrage in which a party known as a wholesaler...

stamp duty
The new Stamp Duty ...

Taxes are one of the ways through which the Government generates revenue...

WFH
How Work From Home ...

Google has announced that it will continue with work from home (WFH)...

Investment Portfolio
Investment Portfolio Diversification in ...

Months after the onset of Covid-19, we continue to see its impact...

path of progress
What is path of ...

As a , you may have heard the term path of progress before. The...

Virtual Real Estate
Increase of Virtual Real ...

Prospective buyers getting their first glimpse of potential homes through smartphone cameras...

Property Managers
Operational Guidelines Property Managers ...

The pandemic crisis has thrown nearly all industries for a loop, and...

Commercial real estate
The Effect of the ...

The real estate industry is changing, a change that started before the...

Disruptive Real Estate
Disruptive Real Estate and ...

What do Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Visa and American Express all have...

Post-Pandemic
Outlook of Post-Pandemic Commercial ...

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a transformative impact on (CRE) markets. The...

invest in real estate
Reasons you should Invest ...

Your current financial stability doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be free from financial...

Retirement
Real Estate Investments for ...

Real estate can be an incredible tool to help you prepare and...

Real Estate Industry
Tips to better understand ...

If you're looking to buy or sell property, it's important to have...

Real Estate Investment
Ways of getting involved ...

While many people get involved in real estate to generate a return...

value
How to assess the ...

If you’re investing in property, you’ll need accurate real estate valuations to...

Real Estate Investors
Guiding Principles for Real ...

While the national faces significant uncertainty right now, it's important to recognize...

Real Estate Investing
The largest benefits of ...

Real estate is one of the best possible ways to drive personal...

The Real Estate Market
How the Real Estate ...

If you're looking to buy or sell property, it's important to have...

Remote Working
Remote Working and its ...

Many ask if the remote working culture will be here to stay,...

buying and selling
Real Estate Buying and ...

EASTON — agents and their colleagues have adapted quickly to the new...

unstable market
Investing in Real Estate ...

The industry is filled with its share of ups and downs. In...

real estate investments
Real Estate Investments to ...

There are several types of real estate , but most fall into...

covid-19
How to adapt Commercial ...

The escalating economic is being felt far and wide across every industry....

How the pandemic will affect Resident Demands in the future
How the pandemic will ...

The current pandemic and global response is a once-in-a-lifetime event that has...

real estate stock market
The effect of Real ...

Financial market commentators tend to focus on the price of bonds and...

digital asset
How Real Estate is ...

Yesterday, I had a call with one of my company’s larger customers....

Real Estate Agents
Ways Real Estate Agents ...

There is a reason companies like Tesla have such a loyal customer...

Operational Real Estate
The importance of Operational ...

New York, NY—With the shift towards buying an experience over buying a...

Passive Income
Ways to Earn Passive ...

Passive income is an important factor in building wealth and achieving financial...

millennials
The Future of Real ...

We've all seen studies on millennials circulating around the internet. As the...

land
Things to consider before ...

Looking to buy land to build your dream home? Land is the...

Angel Investing
Angel Investing versus Real ...

I’m often asked what my preference is when comparing angel investing to...

Bitcoin Investment
The comparison of Real ...

Two popular avenues, real estate and bitcoin, have been making waves in...

mortgage
How to find the ...

If you’re looking to buy a home or in a single family...

Reserves
The importance of Reserves ...

Private real estate affords investors considerable control over their , from how...

attorney
The importance of an ...

Engaging the right attorney helps you avoid costly mistakes in deals. Especially...

bundle of rights
The comparison of bundle ...

What is “,” really? Most people might say it's the land and/or...

Lagos State Real Estate Law
Laws guiding the Use ...

The regulatory bodies in real estate include but are not restricted to the following;...

Commercial Real Estate Tech
2020 Top Commercial Real ...

Deloitte’s 2020 Commercial Real Estate Outlook surveyed 750 owners, operators and investors in 10...

Mortgage notes
Guide on investing in ...

Most new investors in active real estate start with a traditional method...

real estate rehab
Stages of Real Estate ...

If you play your cards right, rehabbing houses can be very rewarding...

Multifamily
Investing in Multifamily Real ...

Millions of Americans depend on cash flow generated by long-term investment portfolios,...

ways to invest in real estate
Ways to invest in ...

There is a common misconception that real estate investing requires property ownership....

rental properties
Pros and Cons of ...

Many investors understand why they should invest in real estate for the...

urban regeneration
Planners urge Lagos State ...

Planners have charged the Lagos state government to do more detailed master...

Commercial Real Estate Technologies
Trending Commercial Real Estate ...

The commercial real estate industry has entered a new phase of technology...

Real Estate Location as a franchisee
Tips to secure the ...

Real estate site selection has the power to make or break any...

Remote Workers
How Remote Workers affect ...

As more people are able to work from home, housing priorities have...

5G Technology
5G Technology REITs

There is a revolution going on. You’ve probably heard the term 5G...

buyers
Questions Home Buyers should ...

Buying a home is one of the most expensive decisions you'll ever...

remodeling
Mistakes to avoid when ...

Americans are spending less on home renovations than they were at this...

Real Estate Market
Reasons for investing in ...

Are you thinking about purchasing your first piece of real estate? Investing...

real estate funds and REITs
Differences between real estate ...

Are you ready to invest in real estate? Real estate funds and real...

Agents and Brokers
Differences between Real Estate ...

Real estate transactions often involve significant amounts of money. As a result,...

real estate crowdfunding
Real Estate Crowdfunding Investment

Ask a rich person how they got rich, and there’s a good...

Investing Real Estate Market
Investing in the right ...

Investing in real estate is tremendously exciting, and can be very lucrative....

housing in Nigeria
FMBN to build 100 ...

Ahmed Dangiwa, Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), said the...

local real estate market trends
Factors that determine Local ...

Real estate markets trend between times of boom and bust, depending on a...

invest in real estate
Affordable ways to invest ...

Real estate can help diversify a portfolio. One way to grow your...

real estate digital finance
8 top concepts of ...

In all history there has never been a more profound era of...

appraisal services
Why you need appraisal ...

Real estate investing can be an excellent way to earn passive income....

Real Estate Investment
Determining your Real Estate ...

Malcolm Gladwell states that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become...

real estate agent
12 Qualities in Selecting ...

Purchasing a home is a huge financial commitment, so finding the right...

National Urban Development Policy
Revision of the National ...

The long-awaited overhaul of the National Urban Development Policy (NUDP) has been...

Warehouse
Capitalizing on the Warehouse ...

Everyone knows that retail is evolving, and common thought says that retail...

Mixed-Use Real Estate
Benefits of Mixed-Use Real ...

In cities, mixed-use real estate is hidden everywhere. Someone likely lives above...

dead capital
Real Estate Dead Capital ...

PwC estimates that Nigeria holds at least $300 billion or as much...

Post your Comments

NAME *
EMAIL *
Website

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: