Moving forward after a global pandemic

By Gary Tasman

We know the world is vastly different as social distancing, limited travel and fear over increased cases of COVID-19, impact our daily lives. As people try to adjust to the new normal and navigate through the pandemic, Cushman & Wakefield | Commercial Property Southwest Florida continues to emerge as an industry leader providing enhanced digital connections and solutions to keep commercial property top of mind.

Organizations and businesses should not confuse short-term performance impacted by the current crisis as a blanket long-term preference. As office buildings went from being 87 percent occupied globally in February to virtually empty in April, creative workers adapted to the new normal. Many are productively working from home but anxious to return to the office once it is safe to do so. A recent Stanford study illustrated the productive gains made by employees who work from home but also indicated a longing to return to an environment that fosters interaction with colleagues and community connections.

From a real estate perspective, from workplaces to warehouses, our market is quickly adapting to the change. Although, scary at times, change is no stranger to the real estate industry. It is something we are very much used to and can sometimes use in our favor to benefit clients. Cushman & Wakefield | Commercial Property Southwest Florida now uses video conferencing, cloud computing and other digital resources for greater levels of connectivity over a myriad of locations throughout the world. Investors and property owners alike can connect with ease.

One thing is certain. Working environments as we knew them have probably changed forever, as industry leaders are discovering irrefutable evidence that individuals can be equally effective working remotely. Technology allows us to connect as if we are in the same rooms together. Working from home does not present a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, however. Through Cushman & Wakefield’s propriety tool, “Experience per Square Foot,” our workplace specialists have captured more than 2.5 million data points from workers all over the globe in the pre- COVID-19 era and another 1.7 million data points from more than 40,000 respondents in the current work from home environment to develop a report, entitled, “The Future of Workplace.”  It illustrates the difference of workplace environments for different age groups, including Baby Boomers, Gen Z and Millennials.

“We know the time is now for many of you to make your move in order to survive and thrive in the real estate market, and our team is well positioned to help you successfully navigate your commercial property needs through these unprecedented times,” said Shawn Stoneburner.

Going forward, the office of the future will become a place for connectivity, both virtual and physical. Businesses will need to create an environment where people want to thrive as opposed to seeing the experience as a chore or a grind. Two horizons will likely develop. The first horizon is an immediate return to work and recovery ready phase as evidenced by the “Six Feet Office” concept developed by Cushman & Wakefield. The second horizon looks to the future, once things do return to some form of status quo and we are in a position to make decisions based on normal business operations as opposed to crisis management.

“We may see a surge of property owners make a move to sell as business owners seek new workplace solutions and investors look to diversify,” says Shawn Stoneburner.

COVID-19 is forcing many sectors of the economy, including real estate, to adapt and evolve. It’s the decisions you make now that will make you stronger when we come out on the other side of COVID-19. It’s during times of crisis, doors open to opportunity, while others may close. Cushman & Wakefield | Commercial Property Southwest Florida is rising to the occasion, defining its role, embracing technology, creating environments and opening doors to opportunity so that our clients can soar.

To connect with Southwest Florida’s leading commercial property experts, Gary Tasman and Shawn Stoneburner of Cushman & Wakefield | Commercial Property Southwest Florida , call 239-829-5400 or email timetosell@cpswfl.com.

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