The future of the traditional commercial office spaces has never been uncertain now with the COVID-19 outbreak. Commercial office investors and owners might experience a sudden drop in rentals and demand for offices. Yes, this might sound like a challenge. But the real estate industry can still expect a lucrative future. For instance, in Malta where there seem to be a never-ending demand for tourist accommodation, offices and working spaces will still be in high demand post-pandemic. This is because the location-independent setup isn’t suitable for all businesses, said Marc, an associate at Malta Sotheby’s International Realty commercial property.
Top Emerging Trends
A lot can be expected for the future of the real estate industry, with the change in work demands and the virus still without a vaccine. Specifically, the following are the top emerging trends commercial office owners and real estate investors can expect:
1. Short and Medium Rental Terms for Offices
Tenants are more likely to prefer short-term contracts than long-term commitments. A shorter contract provides an “easy-out” option for entrepreneurs who are still in the initial stage of their business and might still need to try different locations. A short or medium-term contract also makes it easy for entrepreneurs to scale down or up.
2. Co-Working Spaces
Co-working spaces are already starting to grow pre-pandemic. And this trend will continue well into the future as people seek a perfect blend of community areas and office-type workstations. Working full-time at home can be isolating; hence, the need for areas that allow remote workers to meet and find a community. For commercial offices to remain relevant in the new normal, it should also accommodate individual remote workers as much as companies.
3. Corporate Campuses
Converting commercial offices into corporate campuses is another possible trend that will help uphold the health and safety of employees. The team will stay in one building complex. They’ll have a shared cafeteria, commuter buses, sports area, and other amenities. With this trend, employees can limit their whereabouts to within the campus and avoid exposing themselves to a lot of people they don’t know.
4. Open Floor Plans
Offices with open floor plans will continue to be a trend and will even become a preferred interior layout. An office with this design is easy to clean and employees can be monitored with ease. Open floor plans also minimise the use of cubical openings and door handles, preventing the spread of germs via these commonly touched objects. And without a lot of walls and barriers, communication will also be easier.
5. Automated and Sensor-Equipped Appliances and Furniture Pieces
Commercial offices might also need a major revamp in its appliances and furniture pieces. Ergonomics and energy-efficiency aside, it’s also highly recommended to opt for automatic and sensor-equipped fixtures and appliances. That way, employees can avoid touching surfaces to prevent the spread of germs. Specifically, switching to lighting fixtures, sinks, toilets, doors, and HVAC system with motion sensors is a great way to start.
Work setup might have changed. But the people’s need for community and meaningful work remains, said Marc, an associate of the (commercial property for Malta Sotheby’s). And these demands need to be addressed in the “new normal” way of working. Whether you are a business owner, employee, or real estate investor, these commercial office trends are worth noting to ensure you can maintain productivity despite changes in the work setup and location.