Covid and the office
Covid has undoubtedly altered the way many of us work and where, which calls into question the use of the traditional office.
We know working remotely can work, but not in all areas of business. There are obviously huge cost implications, but equally important are issues of mental health, isolation and connectivity issues.
Employers are obliged to offer work areas that provide integration and structure to enhance well-being, health and safety, and as such we must all look at the layout of our offices moving forward.
As far as the property industry is concerned, we do not see a world where office based work is done fully remotely. Businesses need to grow and implement new initiatives by meeting colleagues and clients in person. However, we can see that buildings with added value with fare better in terms of attracting office workers back, whether that be close to amenities or proximity to other companies, clients and transport hubs.
The impact of the use of offices particularly in town and city centres is critical to the retail sector, particularly hospitality which thrives on the full use of office buildings. Changing consumer habits and working and shopping trends should be seen as an opportunity to bring other uses to the urban environment including residential and leisure.
The industry should view this as an opportunity to adapt to a different working environment, with flexibility and a re-think of traditional working practices.