March 11, 2023 will mark three years since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a “global pandemic”. Since then, Commercial Real Estate (CRE) has faced many “unknowns”. Among the many “unknowns” brought on by the pandemic, the biggest question asked by CRE professionals (and tenants) has remained: What is the future of office space?
Throughout the past three years, we have both observed and experienced the evolution of the hybrid work model; from a temporary solution to accommodate pandemic restrictions, to what we have since learned is, in fact, the future of office space. The hybrid work model is here to stay.
In recent months, it has become more and more apparent that many tenants have adopted the hybrid work model. In doing so, we have discovered that the once coveted “traditional office space” no longer fits the bill. While this does not necessarily signal the need for less space, it does signal the need to acclimatize office space to accommodate a hybrid work model. In fact, the recently published results of the 2022 REALPAC Prospective Survey provided that out of those surveyed, 74% answered “Yes” when presented with the statement “Most Office Tenants will have substantially amenitized their space to attract employees back to the office.”
What Does it Mean to Acclimatize Office Space?
We have quickly learned that acclimatizing (or amentizing) office space to accommodate a hybrid work model is not simply an invitation to either ditch office space all together, or knock down walls to create an open space. Here are a few ways organizations can acclimatize their office space:
- Create a comfortable environment that employees want to work in (i.e. natural lighting, greenery, and collaborative and flexible workspaces);
- Make improvements to conference room technologies and videoconferencing software;
- Develop a combination of collaborative workspaces and private workspaces; and
- Identify Social Spaces to encourage and embrace “Human Moments” and natural interactions.
How Can We Help?
As a landlord, our greatest pleasure comes from locating and/or designing functional and desirable office spaces for our tenants. We also understand that while this may be our passion, the thought of designing or creating space outside of the concept of “traditional office space” can be daunting, frustrating and downright overwhelming. With several decades of experience under our belt, we welcome every opportunity to work with both current and prospective tenants alike. At Sifton, we are proud to offer our in-house commercial construction team as a tool and resource to assist with formalizing plans to create customized office and retail space.
- Space Planning Services – Our expert design team, which includes the services of an interior designer and an architect, will work with the tenant to identify space requirements (both now and in the future). They will ask all of the right questions, make suggestions and recommendations, ultimately resulting in a custom-designed concept plan.
- Finishes – Following finalization of the concept plan, the design team will work with the tenant to select and finalize finishes (i.e. flooring, lighting, etc.)
- Construction – Our commercial construction team can oversee the project from start to finish, thereby taking the worry and burden off of the tenant. During this phase the team will maintain regular communication with the tenant in terms of project updates, change orders, etc.
The Hybrid Work Model is here to stay, and we at Sifton are excited to work with both existing and future tenants to redefine the term “office space”, and what that means for organizations.