Re-Thinking Office Space in a Post-Coronavirus Context
Much has changed since the beginning of the year. As the coronavirus pandemic has swept the world, the need for rigorous lockdowns and social distancing protocols to limit the spread of the virus has had a far-reaching impact on everything from education to retail and food delivery.
But perhaps one of the developments that will have the most long-term significance has been the widespread shift to remote work.
Industries that have long relied on digital communications are now realizing that large parts of their workforce do not actually need to be present in the office to be productive, which is causing many companies to reimagine how remote work could help reduce overhead by shrinking the amount of office space they rent.
Some firms, anticipating that the pandemic will permanently change how work is organized, are already starting to move to smaller offices to save money.
The Benefits of a Smaller Office
In the old economy, a large office was a sign of success — it meant you had a lot of employees, and could afford the space and resources to house them. But for the reasons outlined below, a smaller office might be more desirable moving forward.
- A smaller office provides more intimacy, putting essential team members in closer contact with each other
- Less square footage means you can relocate to a more prestigious building/neighborhood or a more desirable space
- Smaller offices reduce overhead by cutting down on the need for furniture, equipment, and utilities
Moreover, moving to a smaller space is actually less of a headache than you might expect. If you need help moving your office to a smaller space, office moving companies can handle not only the move itself but also the packing and unpacking on either end.
With workers already handling most of their business from home, this is the perfect time to bring the office movers in to transfer your equipment and supplies to a new building.
An Accelerating Trend
Though we will likely look back at 2020 as being the decisive year in the pivot to remote working, it is also true that the pandemic merely accelerated a process that had long been underway —in March 2019, Fast Company was already reporting that remote work would become the “new normal.”
The main question for business leaders today is how quickly to shift to new office space and how to handle the transition in a way that is beneficial for the employees.
While many companies are taking a “wait and see” approach before committing to an office move, the early months of 2021 may be the ideal time to secure new office space due to lower rental rates, greater availability of commercial movers, and a workforce that may already be handling day-to-day work from home.
It is clear that remote work has not significantly damaged productivity, and if this past year really is the inflection point it would appear to be, getting ahead of the trend by moving to a new long-term headquarters now is a smart move. No one knows how the pandemic will end, but one thing is clear: the world of office work will never be the same again.