US Population Data Shows Cities and Workers Will Come Back From Covid-19October 14, 2021
In my last post, we highlighted how Supply Chain Headwinds will impact the Fourth Quarter of this year. In my search for the last article, I also ran across the article that I am highlighting here. Costar highlighted a recent ULI meeting where several professionals came to talk about what things we might expect as we start to come back more fully to the office.
The article highlights two main areas, that is the growth will come back to the cities and it also briefly touched on some of the diversifying that office buildings are seeing.
The debate on whether remote work is here to stay or not was challenged at this event. They basically said that remote work is only temporary and they could see several reasons for why people would come back to the office. First, the cities will continue to grow because that is what we’ve seen for centuries. They claimed that the “urbanization rate has only gotten higher” for every census taken.
Another reason for a reduction in remote work was employees might be start noticing that they are working more hours remotely. A third reason was that bosses might begin to push for employees to return. Finally, another reason that people would ultimately return to the office is the person to person interaction is too important and we are more productive together.
Finally, the diversifying of office buildings was discussed. When institutional buyers are having a difficult time underwriting new office building purchases, there is trend to push office buildings toward other uses like residential or lab space. While this is not a bad idea, it doesn’t work for every building but the main point is some buildings will be re-purposed during this time.
The most insightful point that I pulled from the article was the answer to question about what will stay and what won’t stay from Covid, and the reply was, “I am of the bias that anything that Covid does that piles on an existing trend is likely to be forever and anything where Covid pushes back against what is a multidecade trend I find hard to believe that in five years we’re still going to see that trend with us.” In other words, if we’ve already seen the trend in place and Covid aligns with it, then we will likely see Covid further push us toward that trend and anything it doesn’t align with won’t be around for long.
I agree that remote working, at it’s current level, will not stay forever but I do think that there has been a trend for remote work for years and I do see that remote work being an option for many companies moving forward.
To read the article, see the link below.