The future of office spaces was uncertain in early 2021, but now we can see that offices are here to stay. In Arizona, we are seeing an increase in leasing of office spaces which can be attributed to multiple different factors. One of those factors is the relocation of companies to the Phoenix area. The appeal for companies coming from out of state is less expensive rent compared to similar office spaces in large cities. Others are looking for new office spaces that are more suitable to changing needs.
Adjusting to a remote work
Throughout the last 18 months, companies adjusted as needed to allow employees to continue working remotely. Although the adaptation to a remote workforce worked well for many businesses, there are companies that do not want to maintain that model for the long-term. In- person interaction allows for collaboration and contributes to the company culture. Bringing employees into the office helps maintain the company culture and develop a stronger team environment. While some employees want to return to an office for more human interaction, others prefer to now work from home. A popular alternative for companies is a hybrid work model that allows for both in person and remote work schedules. The hybrid office is a solution that allows space for social distancing with flexible work schedules, which can help retain employees and potentially reduce overhead costs.
Changing office designs
Office spaces are still needed, but the design and configuration of the space is changing. There is more focus on flex spaces that can be easily configured depending on how many employees the space must accommodate. One trend we are seeing is more areas for teams to work together with open, spacious meeting areas. Utilizing movable partitions allows companies to redefine physical workspace between people and to create a safe and comfortable office space. Another trend that is popular is the addition of outdoor space wherever possible.
Safety and security
In response to the pandemic, more emphasis is being placed on the safety and cleanliness of office spaces. When people first started moving back to in-person work, there was a lot of talk about replacing HVAC systems with a medical grade counterpart, but this proved to be too costly for most companies or commercial property owners. What is doable is the addition of more touchless fixtures (lights, faucets, etc.), fabrics that protect against bacteria and easy to clean surfaces. The other change is an increase in cleaning and sanitation practices of high traffic areas as well as individual offices.
There are still new office spaces being built with many spaces already pre-leased, so it is fair to say that office buildings are not going away in the near future. As we look to 2022 and beyond, the commercial sector will continue to grow and prosper.
If you are purchasing a commercial space, Landmark Title is here to help with you commercial real estate transactions. Contact us today with any questions you have about the title or escrow process.