2A — August 14 - 27, 2020 — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal

M id A tlantic R eal E state J ournal Publisher, Conference Producer . .............Linda Christman AVP, Conference Producer ...........................Lea Christman Publisher ........................................................Joe Christman Editor/Graphic Artist..... .................................Karen Vachon Contributing Columnist .........David L. Church, CCIM, U.S. Realty Capital, LLC; Ellen Shelly, HF Planners, LLC; Mid Atlantic R eal E state J ournal ~ Published Semi-Monthly Periodicals postage paid at Hingham, Massachusetts and additional mailing offices Postmaster send address change to: Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal 350 Lincoln St, Suite 1105, Hingham, MA 02043 USPS #22-358 | Vol. 32, Issue 15 Subscription rates: 1 year $99.00, 2 years $148.50, 3 years $247.50 & $4.00 single issue - plus postage REPORT AN ERROR IMMEDIATELY MARE Journal will not be responsible for more than one incorrect insertion Phone: 781-740-2900 | Fax: 781-740-2929 www.marej.com

David L. Church, CCIM dchurch@usrealtycapital.com

Office in the Covid-19 Era

O ver the past thirty years many corporate of f ices have given way to cubicles or open work spaces. Some office buildings developed before 1990 with parking ratios of fewer than 4 spaces per 1,000 s/f became functionally obsolete as park- ing ratios of 5 or 6 spaces per 1,000 s/f became the norm for many tenants. In recent years, the use of shared work - spaces by sole proprietors, independent contractors, and employees working remotely exploded – the demand was met largely by WeWork and similar entities that empha- sized large interactive com - mon areas and limited office space. Covid-19 roared into the Mid-Atlantic States in mid- March 2020, and nothing has been the same since. Firms were forced to adapt almost overnight to employees work- ing remotely. During the past four months, companies

perfected remote access and most employees transitioned well to working from home; in fact, a large percentage of employees prefer working from home to commuting one or two hours a day and risking exposure to Covid-19. The current situation raises several questions about the future of office space. Most important to this discussion is whether businesses will outsource their needs for of - fice space and how they will accomplish that goal. So long as Covid-19 is a sig - nificant danger to the health of office workers, businesses are likely to encourage employees

to work from home. However, it is possible that preschool children will not return to daycare and students will not return to campuses in the fall. In order to maintain a high level of productivity, those who work remotely may require more privacy than is offered in a home environment. The shared office model offered by companies such as WeWork or IWG (for- merly Regus) do not appear to offer the degree of social distancing and privacy that are desired in the Covid-19 era. In addition, the severe reduction in business travel continued on page 18A



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