Over the past year, working from home has gone from “temporary” to a new normal that many companies have begun to not just accept, but openly embrace.
As many employees are given the green light to work from home for the foreseeable future (or at least work from home most of the time), what will happen to the large, spacious office spaces that their employers no longer have? need ?
In a recent Forbes article, “The impact of a hybrid work environment on real estate“, Replay Listings Co-Founder and CEO Rodolfo Delgado predicts a “downsizing” trend in the commercial real estate space, potentially opening up opportunities for commercial real estate agents to help newly hybrid businesses navigate the relocation process.
Hybrid Business Trends So Far
Companies like Microsoft and Google are leading the way with flexible spaces designed to accommodate fewer in-person employees while including virtual employees in roundtables.
Google’s “Campfire” rooms are circular to make it easy for everyone to address each other, while Microsoft’s eye-level cameras and screens on the walls allow employees to maintain eye contact with teammates, even if they are far away.
And if you’re wondering if the need for office space will completely disappear, it’s unlikely.
Delgado also takes into account that in some metropolitan areas, employees may still want the option of working in an office away from home if it’s safe.
Additionally, some companies and roles need in-person dynamics for better performance.
However, on the whole, hybrid companies are looking for less square footage and easily reconfigurable rooms to accommodate fewer, irregular numbers of in-person employees.
How will the hybrid model affect commercial market value?
Since now-hybrid businesses may rarely need to house the entire team in person, Delgado believes hybrid businesses will “recalibrate” the amount of square footage they rent.
Consequently, rental income will decrease, which will also reduce the market value of their properties. In some cases, landlords may need to reallocate certain spaces as residential accommodation. In worst-case scenarios, some business owners may be forced to foreclose.
If you’re a commercial realtor, reach out to your sphere of influence to see how your customer base is handling the transition back to work and if they need help filling vacancies or planning a reassignment.
Also reach out to companies directly to see if they are considering downsizing or relocating, then help them navigate the process.
Unprecedented trends will continue to emerge and staying current helps position you as an invaluable asset to key decision makers.
As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of leading educational brands, McKissock apprenticeship helps hundreds of thousands of real estate professionals each year achieve lasting success at every stage of their career through ongoing training and professional development paths.