As of yesterday, the Government’s guidelines to work from home, where possible, have been lifted. Is this positive news for the property industry and is there an expectation that more staff will return to the office? We understand that many companies are encouraging staff to return to the office and are planning a safe return, staggering the return over the Summer period while adaptations are undertaken to allow for better ventilation and safe distancing still.
It is likely that there will be a significant number of people that will never return to working in the office on a full or even part time basis. Many of which have either worked effectively from home during the pandemic or have underlying health conditions. For the remainder of the workforce, we believe that they are keen to return to the workplace and looking forward to interacting again with fellow colleagues.
Ian Archer, Director in our Commercial Agency team, commented, “In the longer term, we are likely to see a reduction in the total amount of office space required, however, this will lead to many companies downsizing. Landlords will need to keep in touch with their tenants regularly to ensure that they have some advance warning of their plans going forward and if they intend to give up space.”
“With the shift to potentially smaller workspaces, some occupiers may struggle to find suitable premises during a time when many may already be downsizing. On the other hand, landlords are agreeing to more flexible leases so it is important that tenants keep in touch with them. Downsizing or relocating could be a last resort if landlords are able to work with their tenants until they have made a decision on how much space they require.”