Is Traditional Office Space a Thing of the Past?

MeetingWith an increase in online work capabilities and the public health crisis sparked by COVID-19, many employers and their employees have traded in their office desks for the kitchen table, and their ties and slacks for, well -- stretchy pants. Some corporations such as Twitter and Google are sending their employees to work from home indefinitely.

So is commercial office space becoming a thing of the past? Not exactly.

Remote workers are experiencing more flexibility in how, when, and where they work, and yet are now discovering a new volunteer crop of problems germinating: loneliness, fatigue, anxiety, and even depression due to the blurred lines of work and home. Dramatically fewer personal interactions, extended isolation, and the challenge of juggling work responsibilities within the same physical space where they sleep, mediate conflicts between children, do laundry, and try to relax, is taking a toll on the mental health of remote workers, research shows.

Despite the obvious, intermittent WFH perks, a 2020 poll conducted by Glassdoor found that nearly 75% of remote workers hope to return to the office as soon as they can. 2020’s pandemic-induced social experiment has shown us that while virtual interactions are useful, they can only take us so far; and that reclaiming boundaries between where we work and live is essential to our psychological, emotional, and even physical well-being. The proof is in the pudding.

"Employers are continuing to lease offices for themselves and their employees," Joseph Fuduric, broker at Greenville commercial real estate company Shaw Resources, Inc. says. "There will always be a need to create differentiation between working and living spaces, and we're seeing that play out, even in the midst of a pandemic."

While we can’t know the future, it’s clear that moving forward, both employees and employers are seeking a more equitable balance between workplace flexibility and structure. As workers return to their office buildings, we predict a rise in hybrid models that offer employees the option to work from their home or office interchangeably. The modern workplace is evolving, offering more than, but certainly not less than, a place to call [work] home.

TL;DR -- The office space is here to stay.

Utilizing over 60 years of real estate experience, Shaw Resources Inc. helps businesses make smart real estate decisions so they can succeed. Shaw Resources, Inc. is located at 126 Millport Circle, Greenville, SC 29607, and is reachable by phone at (864) 233-6391.

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