Are American Workers Really Going To Return To The Office?
For the past two years, much of the workforce was forced to work from home—with many businesses discovering that this “necessity” ended up being something employees really liked.
Now leases for more than 243 million square feet of office space are due to expire in 2022, forcing business owners to re-evaluate their workspace footprints. This onslaught of lease expirations represents almost 11% of America’s overall office space—and is making building owners (and the banks holding their loans) very nervous.
American employees have been reticent to return to the workspace, and business owners have been scrambling to find ways to convince workers to return to the office full-time or part-time. They’ve turned to workspace designers and manufacturers to create workspaces that are more inviting to employees, and the industry has risen to the occasion.
At Desks Inc, we’ve been excited to see the many solutions being offered by office furniture manufacturers. We’re seeing the introduction of more collaborative workspace design and furnishings that offer flexibility. There are touchdown spaces, shared private enclaves, activity-based spaces and a design sense of “home at work.” There’s an emphasis on functionality, sustainability and aesthetics.
After we’ve helped our clients’ workspaces evolve with these new demands, they’ve told us that employees feel more positive about returning to the office—which is very gratifying. But we’re also warning our clients that there are new challenges on the horizon. As employees are now facing inflation and new strains on their household budgets regarding the cost of fuel and even their beloved coffee drinks, it’s added pressure for employers. Some are incorporating coffee lounges in their offices in order to reduce that inflation stress. Others are even discussing subsidizing mass transit options for employees. No matter what challenges face our clients, Desks, Inc is here to help with ideas and solutions.