2020 left us with lots of unknowns.

Many business owners were forced to reduce their normal operations, or even shut down completely, begging questions such as . . .

How do we plan for the future without knowing what that looks like? And how can we make calculated decisions that move the business forward, without risking too much on the down-side?

While no one can answer with absolute certainty, we hope to shed some light on how to approach all this unknown and make a confident, educated decision that will help move your business forward.

Market Analysis

The big question right now is how COVID will impact workplace standards and social norms. But more importantly, how those changes will affect the nature of business operations.

We have likely already been faced with the worst of the pandemic in terms of drastic, short-term changes. Now the focus for many is on recovery and finding a new normal.

While most industries were impacted due to COVID — the retail and food industries have seen the most devastating changes, with many of these businesses being forced to permanently shut down.

However the majority of professional and medical offices have continued to stay open — making some adjustments to be COVID safe; such as physical distancing, limiting the number of people allowed on site at once, setting client appointments, reducing walk-ins, and wearing masks in common areas.

And while many have faced difficulties during the pandemic, there are also many businesses that have not been affected. In fact, these entrepreneurs discovered opportunities to expand their businesses and have been handsomely rewarded for doing so.

COVID’s Impact On The Supply And Demand Of Office Space

With a bit of a push in 2020, the entire world was forced to work remotely.

But over the past year, the cost of leasing and occupancy rates has remained stable. Many companies have decided to stay put, possibly in good faith that their operations will return to normal in the mid-to long-term.

As companies continue to use dedicated offices, health considerations will likely mean that they host fewer employees in-office on a daily basis to allow for more office space (square footage) per person.

With more space needed per employee, some businesses will likely adopt either a fully-remote office or a hybrid model — giving their workers the option to switch between working from home and the office.

However, the sudden shift to working remotely has had some drawbacks as well. Many companies have noticed higher levels of stress and anxiety in their employees due to a lack of social interaction and the daily routine of going into the office. Domestic violence and substance abuse has also been recorded at an all-time high, making it clear for some companies that having an office for their employees to work out of is the best solution.

Taking into consideration these difficulties in shifting to remote work, experts are forecasting that some companies may actually opt to upgrade to larger workspaces in order to accommodate their full workforce in-house.

Planning Your Next Move

As the world continues to adjust to a new normal, it’s important to put the needs of your business first and not let the pandemic hinder your long-term goals.

What does that look like for your business? The big question is: Does working remotely work for your team? Maybe you could adopt a hybrid model. Perhaps you’ve experienced substantial growth and need a space to accommodate a larger workforce. Or maybe through the pandemic, you’ve learned that working remotely just doesn’t align with best practices for your business.

If you’ve been thinking about expanding into a larger office, or need to review your lease renewal — get in touch with our team and we can help you today!

Chad Pirie

Chad Pirie

Market Research/Client Relations Manager for Pirie Properties.

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