Will Working From Home Become The New Normal?

Written by Tom Fields,
March 30th, 2020

The pandemic has affected nearly every human being and business, on earth, in some form or fashion and the commercial real estate industry has certainly been affected if not clobbered.  The hardest hit sectors are hotels, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues such as bowling alleys, movie theaters, live performances and casinos. Spring is the most popular time for weddings, thus those venues have virtually been shut down for the foreseeable future.   The reduction of these venues has had a noticeable impact on the taxes generated and needed to run our cities and towns.  Increased unemployment with consumers spending less money slow the many wheels of commerce straining the economy.     

Office Sector:

Many office buildings are near empty with employers sending their people to work from home.  The long-term question is whether the work from home shift will stick to some degree.  Some workers will use the experience of this crisis to convince their employers they can be productive working from home (perhaps on a part time basis). However, others may be looking forward to the more normal routine of returning to the office and the social aspect of being around other people.  Could this shift of work from home vs returning to the office have a long-term effect on office space demand and use?  Perhaps.  But it could take months or even years to answer that question as leases expire and employers evaluate their physical need for office space.  In the words of Frisco TX pastor Charles Swindoll “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react.  And so, it is with you …. we are in charge of our attitude”.  Keep your distance, help the elderly, be friendly, use common sense, stay positive and we all can coexist and get through these scary times.  Be safe my friend!