Is Office Space Really Gone Forever?
Despite The WFH Revolution, Many People Still Want Office Space
“How is commercial real estate doing…?” is a question I’m frequently asked by friends and clients. They ask the question with a tone that implies they are afraid to know the answer. It feels like they are asking how my very old and recently ill dog is holding up, cringing as they wait for the reply.
Surprisingly, our old commercial real estate dog is doing just fine. We’ve all been barraged with headlines proclaiming that office space is a thing of the past. They say it’s gone the way of the fax machine and the beeper and the typewriter. I’m here to tell you that does not seem to be the case so far.
In fairness, many businesses are choosing to “right-size” their office space. They are smartly reevaluating which employees can work remotely and whether they can shed some office space to stay extra lean for the coming months. If you suspect your business needs a smaller office space to rent, we’re here to help. This forced work from the home experiment is the perfect time to determine whether you really need all the office space you’ve been paying for.
There are some (but not many) businesses going 100% remote. We’ve found this works well for sole proprietors like one-person law firms or standalone bookkeepers. These businesses don’t have many employees or reasons to have frequent meetings. If you can work from home and save the overhead by not paying for office space, more power to you!
What the headlines aren’t saying are the anecdotes we’ve been collecting as we speak with our clients. Many have been forced to work remotely and are already tired of it. It’s harder to stay focused. It takes longer to get responses from colleagues which creates inefficiencies. They miss the collaborative energy of working with other human beings. All of this is on top of the home distractions that many of us are dealing with.
Anyone who believes in the need for office space is gone forever probably doesn’t have a 3-year-old that knows how to open the door to your home “office”. Your “office” is immediately transformed into a “hangout with Mom/Dad anytime you want” room. 3-year-olds don’t care about deadlines or appropriate Zoom etiquette or quiet for important sales conference calls. As far as they are concerned, none of those are as important as getting their Otter Pop opened.
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t run on opened Otter Pops (although we wish they did) so there will still be a need for office space on the other side of this pandemic.
If you determine you need to downsize, expand or relocate your office space, Carlsen O’Connell Commercial Real Estate is here to help. We offer a free service to help business owners find office space for rent and commercial real estate for sale in Folsom and the Greater Sacramento Area. Feel free to contact us at 916 287-7439 or connect at CarlsenOConnell.com.