Over a year and a half ago, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many business owners to send their employees home to work remotely. Now that vaccinations are on the rise, and most people are learning that frequent handwashing and social distancing will be a part of their lives for a while, many business owners have decided to bring their teams back to the office slowly. But will everyone’s office look and feel the same?
Evaluation of Office Space
Colleen Erickson, NCIDQ, Director of Facility Planning at Landmark Commercial Realty, says, “COVID has caused many businesses owners to re-evaluate their current office space. What works, what doesn’t. Will some workers continue to work remotely, and some come into the office? Are dedicated workspaces needed? There are so many variables. I am seeing many businesses looking to rightsize their office space.”
What Is Rightsizing?
While Erickson is seeing many businesses looking to rightsize their office space – what exactly is rightsizing?
Michael Curran, President of Landmark Commercial Realty, defines it as a multidisciplinary effort that involves assessing the use of office space and planning accordingly for the foreseeable future.
Both Erickson and Curran indicate that rightsizing isn’t just modifying current space but also includes expanding, contracting, or relocating.
Curran adds, “From an agent standpoint, I am noticing many businesses that have been in their offices for 10-15 years, that have been accustomed to the same rental rate, become aware that they can pay less for better office space. I believe the pandemic cracked the door open, allowing businesses to take a look at what is out there.”
The New Office Environment
Throughout the pandemic, Erickson has met with many businesses looking to re-evaluate or rightsize their current workspace. During this time, she has noticed some growing trends.
“Not all, but many millennials are team-oriented and are not used to face-to-face collaboration being out of the picture,” Erickson adds. “Many Gen Xers, along with Boomers, have been successful working from home and enjoy it. That is why is considering the demographics of your entire team and how they work best needs to be discussed when rightsizing.”
Erickson sees more requests for collaborative spaces and less dedicated office space, internal offices to maximize daylight, and fun corners (pool table/game additions).
“While the traditional workspaces are still needed and the mainstay for now, I see a shift to activity-based needs,” she indicates. “While Gen Xers are accustomed to assigned spaces, many Millennials are requesting shared spaces – desks anyone can use as the portability of laptops makes that happen.”
Both Erickson and Curran agree that every business has their own needs and what works for one, may not work for another.
“I am frequently asked the question – what does the new office environment look like?” Erickson adds. “I tell my clients, there isn’t a one-size-fits all answer as every business is different. It is based on each business’ needs.”
Are you looking to rightsize your business because your current office space needs have changed? Landmark’s Colleen Erickson can help. Contact Colleen at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary assessment.