How Office Rentals Could Change After Coronavirus

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How Office Rentals Could Change After Coronavirus
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Free Office Finder share their thoughts on the future of office rentals. 

Businesses have adapted to the pandemic and are now beginning to think of what the future will look like after coronavirus. In addition to financial and flexibility considerations, many businesses may also be considering hygiene and disaster recovery in their next steps.

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The Impact Of Coronavirus Office Rentals In The Future

Free Office Finder spoke with a number of their landlords and tenants to find out how the coronavirus outbreak could impact office rentals in the future. As a result of those conversations, they present 9 predicted changes to office rentals.

1. Virtual Office Tours

Virtual office tours aren’t new but during these unprecedented times, virtual tours have accelerated. With 360-degree viewing technology, decision-makers can get a feel for the office without visiting in person. Moving forward, the decision to rent an office could now be made by some viewing the office space in person and others via a virtual tour.

2. Hot-Desks Switch to Fixed Desks

Hot desking will possibly be avoided in the future as some employees will feel it’s a risk after Covid-19. At present, many coworking spaces also offer the option of fixed desks and Free Office Finder believes that fixed desks will replace shared spaces.

3. Pre-Agreed Rent Reductions for Lockdowns

After the government advised people to work from home, many companies were unable to use their office space. Post-COVID, office renters may look at inserting pandemic clauses into their contracts. This could mean a reduced rent or free period in case of another pandemic/lockdown.

4. The End of Phone Handsets

Several businesses have switched to a virtual phone system during the pandemic which has allowed remote workers to make and receive calls through their mobile or computer. Most virtual solutions offer the same functions as a business handset such as call forwarding and voicemail. Virtual phone systems could stay in place in case of any future pandemics.

5. Flexible Space

If another pandemic was to arise, some companies may wish to downsize or increase their office space at short notice depending on their needs. Flexible office space may also be required during any recovery phases as businesses reorganise its staff and workload.

6. Frequent Communal Cleaning

Some offices already provide a daily cleaning service. But, we are likely to see extra office cleaning in the future. Some offices may introduce a signature system as you would see in a pub or restaurant toilets.

7. Higher Percentage of Remote Workers

With many staff working from home, there may be an increase in remote workers. This could be on a full time or part-time basis but could mean that less office space is required by businesses. However, remote working needs to be carefully considered as working in an office provides social interaction and may provide higher productivity.

8. Increase in Virtual Meetings

The rise of virtual meetings during lockdown has allowed companies to become more comfortable with video conferencing technology. In the future, we could see more companies switching to virtual meetings permanently, saving the company money on both travel and meeting room hire.   

9. More Storage Space

Coronavirus caused many people around the world to stockpile goods like toilet paper. Organisations may want to take additional storage space to store essential goods should a pandemic or shortage occur again.

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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