2020 saw a need for remote work like no other as the entire world shut down to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Organisations increased the number of their full-time remote employees, and workflow operations took on a different approach.
But what impact has this massive shift to working from home had on office spaces and work facilities, and how have remote work trends impacted tenant involvement and engagement? Let's have a look at the two key ways we were able to distinguish.
The revised need for an office space
With lockdowns and the call to stay at home, many companies have had to conduct their business operations away from the office. They had to encourage as many employees as possible to work from home.
At this time, businesses no longer occupy their leased rentals and so the building remains without use. Of course, as tenants and with their costs in mind, these businesses might opt to revise their need for an office space at all.
Although this may sound like a short-term change, it may well remain in the long-term as companies realise the benefits of remote work. Business owners note the flexibility of remote work, the longer hours that remote workers tend to put in, and the cost of an office space.
As a landlord, this is an important time to review your tenant engagement and tenant involvement strategies. You need to boost the ‘keeping the office space’ pros list. Keep your tenant businesses informed about relevant changes and provide important resources and support during this time.
You might also want to implement a virtual engagement system that can offer some of the benefits of a physical space (ie: sponsored workrooms).
Better office facilities for employees
What can you offer businesses in their office spaces that might not be available to them at home?
With remote work, businesses need smaller office spaces with efficient features that will help them keep their costs down. They no longer need space to accommodate all their employees - only a fraction of them.
As a property or facility manager, you will need to invest in properties that suit these shaved-down tenant needs. Either you adapt your current facilities to suit or you add properties to your portfolio that fit these requirements.
Engage with your tenants and find out what they need. Updating them on any changes is important for keeping them involved - even if they’re not using the space as much.
A great way to make smaller spaces attractive to businesses is to offer a range of rental benefits like office gyms, meditation rooms, office baristas or cafes. This helps you create a community environment for your renters and their employees - giving them more reason to utilise their office space.
Tenant involvement and tenant engagement are crucial in dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and the move to remote work. Rental agencies and landlords have to be more imaginative and engaged to keep their renters. The key thing to remember is that you should constantly communicate with tenants and ask them what they really need!
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