By: T. Bradley Fulkerson, III, CCIM
July 14, 2021
As the world emerges from the pandemic, a lasting impact on commercial real estate and workplace strategy remains. While many high-profile companies have released their refreshed return-to-office policies and procedures, many are still left wondering what “the new normal” will look like for their own workplace.
Consider these key factors when evaluating your office strategy:
- Approximately 87% of leaders expect to offer more flexibility – Forbes
- 72% of business leaders expect to enact a hybrid work model – Forbes
- Over half of employees would like the option to work remotely for three days a week – PwC
A clear understanding of these attitudes will enable employers to develop a flexible workplace strategy that makes their employees feel safe, valued and heard, and aids in attracting new talent to the organization.
Innovation and adaptability are strong indicators of which companies will come out on top in the post-COVID environment. This realignment of workplace policy points to emerging trends that will become important in boosting morale as companies return to the workplace.
One downside during the work-from-home period was lost collaboration among coworkers. As companies enact a hybrid workplace strategy, they will need to double down on dedicated space and resources for employees to collaborate and connect during the time they do spend in the office.
Case Study: An accredited Southeast insurance company hired Transwestern to reduce the organization’s footprint to accommodate a hybrid workplace strategy. The team negotiated ample tenant improvements and managed a build-out process that provided multiple collaboration spaces. While maximizing in-office time and encouraging camaraderie was a top priority, the client also benefited from an efficient workplace with generous cost savings.
Many studies show that remote work resulted in a deterioration of team culture. This is an opportune time to showcase a workplace that aligns with your company culture and values. Even companies shifting to a hybrid workplace model can use this milestone moment to preserve and strengthen their culture as office procedures continue to evolve.
Case Study: Transwestern adopted this strategy when its Atlanta office relocated to the Atlanta Financial Center in 2021. A culture of teamwork and strong relationships is prominently displayed throughout the new space. The new office features open workstations, conference and collaboration rooms, as well as 360-degree views of the office. While balancing collaboration and privacy and safety precautions, the office space reinforces a people-centric workplace with open communication.
If 2020 taught us anything about workplace strategy, it’s that adaptability is imperative and flexibility is invaluable. A workplace must be efficient and provide the necessary resources regardless of capacity. A tenant’s lease with their landlord is foundational to achieving this goal.
Case Study: Transwestern recently negotiated a lease for a digital marketing client that provides flexibility to expand or decrease their footprint on an annual basis. This allows the organization to scale its space to match its growth trajectory, making it easy to pivot when business conditions demand.
Each company’s return-to-office strategy will look different based on size, talent, location and industry, but the common factor moving forward will be innovation. A customized solution will best equip an organization to be a leader in the future of work.
T. Bradley Fulkerson, III, CCIM is a Senior Managing Director of Tenant Advisory and Workplace Solutions based in Transwestern’s Atlanta office.
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