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PODCAST: How Office Owners Are Trying To Make Us Fall In Love With The Workplace Again

Bisnow's audio series, Bisnow Reports, examines every facet of the international commercial real estate industry — from the murky future of retail and office to real estate’s reckoning with diversity to the effects of climate change on the built world, and so much more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music, or scroll down to listen in your browser.

Landlords are under pressure to make their offices more appealing than employees' homes.

The nation’s office owners are engaged in a serious courtship right now, hoping to woo the most important people in their life: their tenants.

This Valentine's Day on Bisnow Reports, we are talking about the diminished allure of the office and how landlords are working to rekindle the spark to encourage workers to come back to their desks.

“The romance of the office is really no different than any other romance in life. It's about making connections that create an emotional response,” said Lindsay Ornstein, the co-founder of OPEN Impact Real Estate. “For all of the efficiencies and ease of technology and working from home, you cannot replicate the people component of work.”

That hasn’t moved most people. Occupancy, while climbing, remains low: In the last week of January, office occupancy in the biggest U.S. office markets was 33%, according to Kastle Systems. The pressure is on landlords to create an environment that is better than what an employee could create at home.

“We want our office space to have those special moments and special places that you can kind of cuddle up and have your cappuccino in the morning,” Marx Realty CEO Craig Deitelzweig says on the podcast. "Those are kind of words that you wouldn't necessarily hear 10 years ago, an office space that's 'sexy' or 'moody' or 'cuddling up.'”