Businesses depend on people and knowledge to operate successfully. And statistics have shown that the Office space is the primary place where the transfer of such knowledge occurs, and it’s second only to salaries as the largest expense for most organizations.
When we think about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the real estate industry one question comes to mind: Do we really need offices anymore?
And, if we do, how will it be different in the future? And if we don’t, how will the real estate business pivot?
What would that mean for lawyers?
The truth, however is that Today’s office is not just about space. It is about how we work, where we work, and the tools that enable us to work efficiently and effectively (from virtually anywhere).
The notion of work where you want [anywhere] that has inspired us asking questions like:
Not so many years ago, it was absolutely essential to have an office, or more likely, a cubicle. That’s where we had meetings, saw our coworkers, and just got work done. But today do we really need corporate offices? New technologies allow us to “connect to work,” meaning that all we need to get work done is an internet connection. Employees are working from co-working spots, cafes, and home offices all over the world without ever having to step foot into a corporate office. In fact the 2013 Regus Global Economic Indicator of 26,000 business managers across 90 countries, revealed that 48% of them are now working remotely for at least half of their work-week.
Here are 5 reasons why our reliance on corporate offices is dwindling.
African countries fare no better. Can you imagine spending 10-15 hours in your car each week just driving? That’s almost a part-time job in your car.
Global Workplace Analytics has perhaps the most comprehensive set of data around this with numbers ranging from 600 billion dollars which are wasted each year on workplace distractions.
In conclusion, there are many benefits to remote working. Of course, many argue that offices are great for fostering communication.
The point here isn’t to say that face-to-face communication isn’t necessary or important, because it isn’t, and we certainly don’t want to get rid of human contact (at least most of us). Instead, organizations need to implement more flexible work environments for employees to allow them to decide how they want to work. For example, some organizations are implementing “pop-up work spaces,” which means that when meetings need to happen they can be arranged at mutually convenient co-working locations where a conference room can be rented for as much time as needed.
This isn’t about removing face-to-face communication it’s about not relying on that as the only option.