As COVID restrictions begin to loosen, more and more companies begin to return to the office. With this shift, we focus on what our “new normal” looks like in the workplace. Working remote has made working anywhere more accessible than ever before.
Reestablishing the workplace
Even with the experiences and comfort of your own home, the physical office remains most relevant. Employers are looking to reestablish the workplace culture, connectivity, and sense of community. With that being said, the future of commercial real estate is unlikely going to favor fully remote or 100% in the office. Instead, approaches will likely consist of a hybrid model.
Although there will be a lower utilization of the office space in the long term, it doesn’t mean a permanent end to the physical office. Instead think of it as a fresh start that will allow companies to get back to a routine. More than ever, the office space needs to encourage innovation, culture, collaboration and creativity. In summary, the workplace needs to provide reasons for employees to want to come in.
Some major CRE companies have been hard at work integrating this system. At CBRE’s Southern California offices they created a “think tank”. Employees are encouraged to brainstorm big ideas. The firm spent several months conducting studies to reimagine aspects of the physical office. (U.S. Workplace 360 strategy)
Entice with experiences and interactions
Returning to the office after a yearlong of comfort at home is going to be a struggle for most. Entice your employees with immersive experiences and interactions that they couldn’t get if they were working fully remote. The office environment needs to change and employees need to be excited to come to work just like how children are excited to go to summer camp. In conclusion, the office space must not only be viewed as a place to work, but also a symbol of the company’s values and culture.
Berkeley Davis serves as a Director at RETS Associates, a national real estate executive search firm. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org