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In the era of remote work, we still need offices

If there’s one thing we know to be true in the business world, it’s that where Google leads, others will follow. Recently the company announced its plan to let employees work from home through the summer of 2021. If arguably the number-one advocate of in-office culture is leaving desks empty for more than a year, it begs the question: What purpose does the office serve going forward and how will companies adjust their real estate strategy accordingly?

Commercial real estate has been an industry defined by major evolutionary tide shifts. Decades ago, individualized, spacious offices were the norm, with many offices allotting as much as 250 square feet per employee. Companies were comfortable entering long-term leases and building out large headquarters as their business hubs.

In the past decade, with the rise of coworking spaces, we’ve seen offices crunched down to as little as 55 square feet per employee as companies have looked to simultaneously improve collaboration and reduce costs.

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