Return To Office Could Start By March

Return To Office Could Start By March: Fox Business

USA – Employers believe their staff could likely return to the office by March or June, while a property owner thinks that the situation could get worse, according to a report aired by Fox Business on Wednesday (6 January).

“Right now, they’re (employers) anticipating that people won’t return to the office until at least late spring or early summer, so that means so many office buildings like this 49-storey building behind me on Park Avenue sits almost empty,” said Fox Business Network reporter Kristina Partsinevelos in a broadcast.

Citing data from Savills, she said right now Midtown Manhattan’s office vacancy level has reached 15.1 percent. That’s nearly equivalent to 60 million sq ft and the highest since 1999.

Moreover, she has spoken to a real estate owner, who believes it could get worse.

“What we are looking at is not a market correction or an overbilled market. This is a paradigm change in behaviour of people. They’re no longer going to the office because… they realized that (telecommuting) works,” said Tom Maoli, President and CEO of Real Estate Opportunity Investment LLC.

Speaking of office space, the workplace is expected to look different when employees do return to the office, noted Partsinevelos.

For example, a mock video from Cisco shows touch screens with monitors that reminds people to be at least 6 ft away from other individuals. It also warns occupants if there are too many people in a physical meeting.

Other recommendations include staggered work times and flexible work weeks. Taking a sick day may also no longer be a taboo, she noted.

“All in all though, we want people to get back to the (office) buildings because these buildings bring tax dollars,” added Partsinevelos.

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