0422_ACRE:BOMA Digital Edition - Page 14

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“ These companies know the employees are coming back , it ’ s just a matter of when . Even if they are only in the office three days a week , people need a space to land .”
Chris Lemmon Executive Vice President , Newmark says . And as a result , the retail market that supports downtown business is also struggling .
The most robust immediate demand is for smaller office space , such as the 10,000 square feet used by entrepreneurial small business and law firms . “ The smaller and more nimble companies have already figured out what they need ,” says Lemmon , who believes larger companies will ultimately follow suit and look for more space as well .
“ Everybody ’ s trying to figure out the hybrid model , trying to keep employees happy and reduce turnover ,” says Greg Aguirre , CEO of Capital Rivers Commercial . That includes looking for space that ’ s convenient for their workers . “ We ’ re seeing companies looking for smaller and more flexible space ,” especially in the suburbs closer to where employees — many of whom migrated from the Bay Area — live . “ The demand for Class A space is good .”
Cool Space No matter how many days they go into the office , workers are looking for space that reflects a company culture and has some hipness to it . Due to rising material and labor costs , Lemmon says “ the $ 60 per square foot you used to pay to create that cool space will now cost you $ 90 a square foot and those costs are outside the control of landlords and tenants .”
The demand for hybrid work environments includes separate spaces for collaboration with comfortable spacing and privacy , says Christine Horton , design director of Corporate Design Group . “ Employees want a space that ’ s interesting but that also makes them feel safe .”
“ Paint is cheap ,” she adds , emphasizing that simple color changes can help delineate spaces for different purposes . Acoustic material that looks like wall art can control sound in areas where people work on computers or use the phone . In the new hybrid office , “ not everyone needs a 10-foot-by-12-foot office when they aren ’ t there every day ,” Horton says . A pedestal that locks and rolls under a desk can store files and family pictures and other personal items on days when an employee works remotely .
Horton ’ s clients are expanding and doing tenant improvements with the goal of attracting top talent . New office design should be employee-driven , she contends . “ In the pandemic , companies found that productivity didn ’ t go down with employees working remotely ,” she says . “ So employees should be able to experience what they want in the office as long as the company gets done what it needs .”
Bill Sessa has been a freelance writer for Comstock ’ s since 2013 . He has received many awards for his writing about the automotive industry and motorsports for national publications including Speed Sport , Autoweek and Performance Racing Industry magazines and for the Napa Valley Register .
78 comstocksmag . com | April 2022