Changing Office Trends Hold Major Implications for Future Office Demand

Perhaps just as the inevitable disappearance of music, video and books stores should have been foreseen at the onset of a digitized connected world, so too should the commercial real estate industry start taking a hard look at changes occurring in the office market.

Tenants are downsizing their offices, particularly larger public firms, as they increasingly adopt policies for sharing non-dedicated offices and implement technology to support their employees’ ability to work anywhere and anytime, according to Norm G. Miller, PhD, a professor at the University of San Diego, Burnham-Moores, Center for Real Estate, in a webinar he presented to CoStar subscribers last week.

Miller said he put together the webinar to examine what would happen if office tenants used 20% less of the nation’s current office space, which has a total valuation of $1.25 trillion. That decrease in demand would represent $250 billion in excess office capacity. Although the current situation is not that dire, Miller said the trend is real, and he presented how it is currently playing out and the long-term implications for office building owners and investors.

Following the webinar, CoStar News interviewed Dr. Miller for a more in-depth discussion of the topic and surveyed a wide sample of webinar participants to share their firsthand account of the ongoing trend and its implications.

According to Miller, four major trends are impacting the office market:

• Move to more standardized work space.
• Non-dedicated office space (sharing), along with more on-site amenities.
• Growing acceptance, even encouragement of telecommuting and working in third places, and
• More collaborative work spaces and functional project teams.

Read the entire article here.