One year ago, today the country shut down and I left my office for what I thought may be a few weeks. A few has turned into 52 and a new pandemic has changed the commercial office market in ways we never imagined a year ago. For owners and occupiers of some office buildings, the challenge in the years ahead will be like A Spartan Race. For those not familiar, Spartan Race is the world’s premier obstacle course race, a running race with the additional challenge of obstacles along the course. These obstacles require athletes to have a highly-conditioned fitness level (cardiovascular fitness + strength + mobility) and a strong desire to finish the race.
The pandemic has caused employers to throw out their old real estate playbook and re-prioritize their real estate strategies for the future. Estimates range from 5-7% for those who worked remotely pre-pandemic and new estimates predict that at least two-thirds of the workforce want to work remotely at least 1-2 days per week in the future. The result from this reduction of time spent at the office along with other industry changes has started a long path of challenges and obstacles for office owners, particularly those with high-rise buildings in a city center.