Since the beginning of COVID the commercial real estate industry has been debating how COVID would impact the future of office space. The debate has largely revolved around whether working from home would become the new normal or whether companies would bring their employees back to work.

 

While the debate is by no means settled, there is certainly a consensus that many employers will be bringing employees back to the office in some capacity, and that changes to their office space will be necessary. Business owners will need to take into account that health and safety measures are going to be a key component in the design and utilization of office spaces moving forward. A recent article published in NAIOP’s Development Magazine, and written by Ron Derven, provides some excellent insight into what the office of the future may look like and specifically how “[s]afety, health and wellness in buildings and workplaces may become as important over the next 10 years as LEED certification has been over the past decade”.

 

 

By Ron Derven – Contributing Editor to NAIOP’s Development Magazine

 

Cool, transit-rich urban office projects of the future and their suburban counterparts will offer tenant-attracting amenities and design, but what may actually close the deal will be the safety, health and wellness features of the building. That’s according to recent interviews with office developer/owners who are on the front lines of making their projects safe places to work.

 

Health and safety concerns about COVID-19 drove people out of their offices to isolate at home in February and March. Alleviating those concerns will help encourage people to eventually return to these workplaces, according to the developers and owners. They are currently focused on efforts to build office-user confidence by implementing screening procedures for visitors, employees and contractors; creating staggered work times and lunch times to ease the burden on elevators; continually cleaning facilities, buttons and doorknobs; making elements in the building as touchless as possible; encouraging social distancing in every public area of the building, specifically lobbies and elevators; improving air quality; adding safety- and health-related signage; and much more.

 

 

Read the full NAIOP Development Magazine article here.

 

 

About Liff, Walsh & Simmons

Liff, Walsh & Simmons is a full-service business law firm serving the legal needs of small businesses and privately held companies, their owners and operators, and individuals throughout their business and family life cycles.  From helping entrepreneurs bring their business visions to market, to representing middle-market companies in business transactions and disputes, to preserving the wealth that a family business has worked so hard to earn, we take pride in providing value-driven solutions and great results.  Our responsive service is focused on general and transactional business advice, commercial and civil litigation, real estate, land use, finance, and estate planning and administration.

 

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Thomas W. Simmons

Thomas W. Simmons

Tom Simmons is a Partner with Liff, Walsh & Simmons, the Director of the Real Estate Practice Group, and a member of the Business Law, and Commercial Finance Practice Groups. Tom regularly represents clients in all aspects of real estate, business and finance transactions including mergers and acquisitions, land acquisition, development, leasing, and disposition, as well as the financing of the same. Tom’s experience is not just limited to Maryland transactions, having represented clients in transactions all across the country, including California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and the entire Southeast. Contact Tom at tsimmons@Liffwalsh.com or at (443) 569-7270.

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