While the general housing market remains under the mercy of uncertainty and volatility, the commercial real estate market, on the other hand, is finally given a chance to regain composure and proper recovery as Covid-19 health restrictions ease and allow the return to office movement. And with this opportunity, we might see labor markets also stabilize as many businesses begin to open their doors and provide employment opportunities for those who prefer working in an office space.
However, times have changed, and with the global pandemic also came new emerging needs for commercial office buildings in the new normal, meaning that traditional office layouts and amenities are vastly outdated and in immediate need of upgrades. And so, today, we’ll be going over what necessary changes commercial real estate investors must look into for their commercial office spaces and how these specific pivot points will benefit them in the long term.
What Trends Are Prevalent?
To put things into context, we must first understand the prevalent work environment trends that called for these changes and how they’ve reshaped the traditional perspective of work and collaboration. Namely, the two most notable trends are (1) the onset of the hybrid workplace and (2) increasing demands for improved technical infrastructure. These two factors highlight the shift in work productivity needs and the future of the work environment.
- Hybrid Workplace: Although the opportunity to return to the office is available, both employees and business owners have experienced the advantages of remote work in both reducing costs and maximizing efficiency. As a result, the demand for traditional work environments has weakened in place for a more updated work modality known as the hybrid workplace, which blends both an in-office and remote workforce. Given this significant change, commercial office buildings are now expected to have more functional spaces in exchange for fewer in-office employees.
- Improved Technical Infrastructure: Localized servers and less-optimal technological requirements were passable, at least for the most part, during pre-pandemic workload capacity. However, now that most businesses are incorporating some form of online platform and online collaborative spaces, improved technical infrastructure has become necessary in this day and age. Therefore, commercial office buildings are expected to be equipped with modern technical capacities that will enable employees to cooperate with their remote counterparts and online work requirements.
#1 Implementation Of Smart Technology And Monitoring
Apart from our smartphones and laptops, technology has also infused itself with even our physical spaces, and one excellent way of optimizing your commercial office building is the implementation of smart technology and monitoring. Smart office buildings are a million times better than traditional office spaces for several reasons, namely, (1) improved energy efficiency, (2) increased control over amenities, (3) a better resale value, (4) future-proofing for additional features, and many more.
Plus, the implementation of smart technology and monitoring answers the call to action for better technical infrastructure, enabling employees to work in a conducive work environment, superior versatility, and all the while driving down costs on your end. Yes, it will require a rather expensive installation fee and time getting used to, but the initial investment will pay for itself over time.
#2 Optimize For More Functionality And Healthy Work Environments
A pre-pandemic perspective on the physical layout of commercial office buildings would have you maximizing given space to fit the most number of employees and divisions while not obstructing their work productivity. However, the new normal’s perspective on the physical layout now focuses on maximizing the functionality that each workspace provides while maintaining a healthy work environment.
With the trend of hybrid workplaces, the need for multiple office cubicles and extra space has dissolved, and now employees prefer access to more fulfilling activities that can aid them in work. For example, fully-equipped fitness centers and relaxing lounge areas dedicated to tenants and clientele are becoming more common and widely accepted.
#3 Increase General Security And Safety Of The Property
Although Covid-19 health restrictions are easing in proportion to vaccination efforts, we are still far from surpassing the global pandemic and require increased general security and safety of the property to enforce rules that will uphold the well-being of all people inside. Therefore, we recommend professional manned guarding services because they can guarantee detailed office building security and can also double-down as receptionists if the need arises.
Furthermore, in conjunction with improved monitoring through smart technology, you won’t have to worry one bit about the safety of your tenants when you check both of these requirements off the list. And partnering with the right man for the job can provide you the reassurance of management and shift-scheduling to be done on their end as well.
We are in the middle of a disruptive era that spares nobody any pity, and the same logical principle applies to the future of commercial office buildings. So, if you don’t wish to be left behind by this wave of changes, we strongly suggest that you begin making the shift as mentioned above.