2020 has been a crazy year and we’re just over halfway done. Much has been said about COVID-19, and much will be said about it for years to come. We may never know the full impact it has had on every aspect of life.
There was a lot of negative economic news during the first half of 2020, with the huge spike in unemployment being the scariest economic vital sign of all.
From the millions of jobless claims, you would make the logical assumption that businesses everywhere would be downsizing their offices, eager to offload vacant offices.
But you’d be wrong.
In the most recent quarter, we have seen a 30% increase in businesses renovating their offices, with many expanding their office space.
Even more telling is the urgency companies are feeling right now. Many office construction projects are being fast-tracked and we’re now ramping up production to our highest levels ever.
With all the fuss around working remotely, it would be easy to imagine a future where everyone works from home and offices are an antiquated relique of a different age.
The reality is much different. Flexibility is key for offices in a world with new health guidelines to follow. Employees may need to work from home a significant amount of time, but nothing beats the collaboration you get when you’re face to face.
Thinking on this is divided, but the result will be an uptick in remote workers, but an increase in raw square footage for offices.
Visitors and employees alike will need to be farther apart when working in-person, and a business will need to accommodate new regulations. In the coming months and years, business owners will have their hands full staying compliant with the new laws. Having extra space and flexibility in your office will be vital to keeping your employees happy and healthy.
Business owners need to create flexibility and space in their offices because that is what employees want.
A major theme of the new modern office is having multi-purpose rooms. We’re not talking about a meeting room that you book on the company’s calendar; real multi-purpose rooms can switch from cubicle space or open-office layout, to boardroom and training room, and back again.
Entrepreneurs should ask their real estate agent or property manager a few important questions before signing that lease:
- What changes can I make to the layout of the office space?
- Am I allowed to move walls or create partitions?
- When I run wires and cables to my employees’ workstations, can I run them in the ceiling? Can I dig out the concrete floor to run wires?
- Do I need to find a more flexible solution for wiring-up my desks, cubicles and offices?
- Who is in charge of approving these changes, and are there preferred contractors I must hire to perform the work?