DALLAS, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- After spending weeks at home in a COVID-19 lockdown, office workers will find it's not business as usual when they return to their jobs, according to BBG, a leading due diligence commercial real estate firm.
Since most states have relaxed shelter-in-place rules, companies have begun the complicated task of making adjustments in offices that are designed to help prevent virus spread among their employees.
While there may be lingering concerns over employers' efforts to provide virus-free office space, an overwhelming majority of employees look forward to returning to their offices, at least some of the time, as they have grown weary of continually working from home.
According to one industry survey, more than 60 percent of the respondents plan to return to their offices part of the work week and spend the rest of the time working from home. Nearly 35 percent of the workers plan to resume work at the office full-time while the rest want to continue to work from home indefinitely.
To accommodate returning workers, companies are making a series of changes in the workplace. That includes installing Plexiglas cough shields at their desks, requiring temperature checks, providing masks, and improving ventilation systems to increase air flow.
Another return-to-work strategy includes limiting the number of employees in buildings by scheduling them to work different shifts at the office and home.
One of the biggest challenges facing owners and tenants of office buildings is redesigning employees' work space that follows social-distancing requirements of people staying at least six feet apart from each other.
An industry report on the virus's impact on office space said that office density has shrunk considerably over the years. The report added that research has found that current office densities ranged from 75 to 150 square feet per person, compared with more than 300 square feet two decades ago.
There also were reports that some companies plan to reduce office space in major urban areas as a result of many of their employees found they could do their work remotely during the virus-induced lockdown.
However, employees returning to their offices will require companies to consider additional space needs in order to meet social-distancing requirements.
BBG CEO Chris Roach commented: "The pandemic has had a profound effect on the office sector, forcing many businesses to temporarily close or significantly reduce staff. During the outbreak, companies found that video conferencing platforms and other technology allowed employees to be just as productive working from home as they were in an office. Fortunately, this enabled companies to continue to serve their clients and retain staff without serious disruption. However, the office building sector remains a vital one in the corporate environment, as most employees and their employers still prefer the face-to-face work-social interaction that only an office setting can provide."
BBG offers comprehensive due diligence services including valuation, advisory, property assessment, energy services, cost segregation, and zoning. Headquartered in Dallas, the firm has 36 offices in key US markets and more than 2,700 clients. As one of the Big Five national commercial real estate valuation firms, BBG has achieved a reputation for personal attention, on-time delivery and deep expertise in multi-family, office, retail and industrial sectors. For more information about BBG, please visit www.bbgres.com.