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Companies Still Want Office Space, But They Also Want To Stay Nimble


U.S. businesses are looking to add office space this year, but their planning is more short-term than it used to be, according to a new survey by software specialist Visual Lease of 200 senior corporate real estate executives at companies with more than 1,000 workers.

Seventy percent of respondents said their businesses are looking to add space this year, but 88% are planning for their space needs a year or less in advance. A year ago, 35% of respondents reported planning their company's spaces with the same short timeline in mind.

The survey's results highlight a fundamental shift in tenant thinking in the aftermath of the worst of the pandemic. Namely, senior corporate real estate executives now identify the ability to sublease, as well as having flexible lease termination as an option, as key needs when negotiating leases.

“Companies are changing how they view their real estate and equipment leases. Once a widely overlooked area of the business, lease portfolios are now helping companies remain agile,” Visual Lease CEO Robert Michlewicz said in a statement.

This survey also found that 52% of respondents said their companies are planning to add new satellite locations, while 28% are looking to downsize existing spaces.

The interest in satellite locations is one way businesses are planning for workplace flexibility, the survey found, along with other hybrid work arrangements and shared workspaces. This year, 46% of respondents said shared desks or offices provide the best office working environment.

Ninety-nine percent said it is important for their company's future leases to reduce their carbon footprint, while 95% said their companies do not have fully established ESG programs. Meanwhile, 41% reported they haven't begun any ESG initiatives.

Related Topics: Return to office, Visual Lease