A year of COVID-19: Now’s the time to assess your Tucson office space
Real Estate Advisor,
Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson
After a year of experience running your business with COVID-19, it’s time to take a hard look at what’s next for using Tucson office space. That’s especially true if it appears your employees prefer to continue working remotely.
You know the issues: Spending long days in enclosed spaces and close quarters potentially spreads COVID-19, the disease caused the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Even as more people become vaccinated, there are still concerns about the rate of transmission and length of protection that cause people to be cautious. COVID-19 will affect site selection decisions for a while. I suggest you take a methodical approach to figuring out how much space you need and how you would use it.
Primary to this is how you will run your business going forward.
- Have you moved to a nearly virtual experience dependent on online conference set-ups for meetings with staff and clients?
- Are there still reasons you need space to meet clients or to have staff work together?
- Have you adopted a drive-through or pick-up model for sales?
- Are most of your sales delivered now?
- Has online interaction become the major touch point, so much so that you’ll want to reduce staff or increase capacity?
- How much will you accommodate employees who want to work at a central office vs. those who want to work from home?
Once you’ve understood how your business has changed, you can reconsider your business space needs, which can include:
- reducing size and number of common areas
- reducing size and number of private offices
- reducing size and number of conference rooms
- providing flexible desk space for teleworkers who come into the office
- adopting an open floor plan
- creating enough space for one-way directional traffic
- creating enough storage space for COVID-19 sanitation and information supplies
- creating space for distribution of incoming and outgoing materials
- reconfiguring space to accommodate expanded inventory and fulfillment operations
- using a smaller headquarter or home base space and operating satellite space for meeting clients and gathering project teams.
Tucson office space infrastructure
Make sure during your site inspections that the space you’re interested in meets your changing needs:
- enhanced ventilation and air circulation to reduce COVID-19 transmission
- adequate number of elevators to accommodate fewer passengers per trip
- space flexibility to respond to changing business operations
- high-speed internet connections for increased online usage
- electricity capability to adopt new technology that create a hybrid remote/in-house workplace
- space for additional computer and networking hardware and technical support.
Tucson office space equipment
You’ll need two types of equipment: those that protect space users from viral transmission and those that make your employees work better. For health considerations, make sure you have the space and infrastructure to provide:
- hand-sanitizing stations
- hand-washing stations
- hands-off light switches and door openers
- plastic guards around desks and counters.
For productivity, consider these new communication technologies and the spaces you need to use them:
- virtual neighborhoods that connect satellite offices with always-on video feeds that provides more instant access to employees compared to scheduling video-conferencing
- virtual focus groups that rely on artificial intelligence to gather data from open-ended questions answered in live online conversations
- collaboration tools that keep projects moving by combining chat, video-conferencing, co-editing, interactive whiteboard and other online team functions.
Tucson office space leases
Don’t wait until your current lease is close to expiring to conduct these studies. You might find you can improve your agreement or get coronavirus-related tenant improvements to continue running your business. Once you know what you need, approach your landlord. It could be a welcomed conversation. VTS, an online leasing management platform, recently reported that landlords don’t really know what their tenants need to safely run their businesses. Working together could be a benefit for both sides.
This might also be a good time to look at other Tucson office space as many businesses are reassessing their needs, making more potential sites available. I can help you with your needs assessment and the next steps. Contact Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson for your complimentary, immediate consultation, [email protected], 520-299-3400.
In his 25-plus years as a commercial real estate tenant representative, Michael Coretz has picked up a wealth of information and expertise. He’s passionate about making sure that corporate users, tenants and buyers like you get a fair deal and the best solution for your business’s bottom line. Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson specializes in representing tenants and corporate users across the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. For more information, call 520-299-3400 or visit www.commercial-real-estate-tucson.com.
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