THE COMPETITIVE EDGE OF FULL-TIME OFFICE WORK
Returning to full-time office work is increasingly seen as a strategic move to gain a competitive edge, as there is little doubt that companies are more effective when they're physically together. Spontaneous collaboration and brainstorming, while taken for granted before the pandemic, are now being recognized by business leaders as essential elements of creativity and innovation. Many companies are getting a jump on their competition by renting office space and fostering in-person interactions.
Think of it like two football teams. One team allows their players to train at home; the other trains on the field. The first team receives all the latest gameplays, strategies, and drills through email or video calls, and they practice independently or in online training sessions. The other team trains together on the field and in the classroom with a head coach who gets them fired up, answers spontaneous questions as they arise, and motivates each individual to train harder. Which team would you bet on?
COMPANIES MAKING A COMMITMENT
While it doesn't make the nightly news, companies are leasing office space in NYC in growing numbers. In the past year, StubHub, ZocDoc, Revlon, and Indeed all renewed or signed new leases in NYC totaling over 400,000 square feet. And smaller businesses are renting office space, too.
An investment firm subleased a Class A office space in Midtown at 712 Fifth Ave. The 2,778-square-foot office traded at a considerable discount from the prices for direct office space in the building.
A talent agency leased a Chelsea office space totaling 1,550 square feet at 130 W 25th St. The landlord installed a new kitchen and provided office furniture, which enabled the company to take possession of the space immediately and get to work.
Two investment executives looking for a private office in Midtown East subleased a couple of offices from a financial services firm at 515 Fifth Ave.
Those are all direct office leases and subleases, but many companies opted to rent office space within a flexible office space company. As the terminology suggests, renting office space from a flexible office provider (we sometimes call these NYC coworking companies) offers maximum lease flexibility. Most companies sign a one-year lease; however, many of these locations will accept a 3-6 month lease term or even a month-to-month office rental.
We've witnessed many companies rent an office in coworking locations as a first step. This initial move towards in-office work sidesteps multi-year lease commitments and upfront costs associated with signing a lease for traditional office space.
While many businesses started their return-to-office journey by renting office space within a coworking suite, now the trend is to move beyond coworking and rent office space from a traditional landlord or find office subleases that might fit the company's office requirements. The economics are more favorable, and you get more usable square footage with conventional offices.
THE ADDITION OF TENANT AMENITIES
Landlords are adapting, too. Before companies started transitioning back to full-time office work, many commercial landlords, aimed at enhancing the overall workplace experience, took the opportunity to improve their office buildings with tenant amenity centers. Class A office buildings such as Tower 45 now have a dedicated area with conference rooms and AV equipment, lounge spaces with soft seating, TVs and kitchens, and phone booths if you need to take a private call. 757 Third Ave and 1345 Avenue of the Americas have similar amenities, plus a gym so tenants can blow off steam on the treadmill or weight machines. Adding amenity-rich tenant spaces to office buildings reflects a commitment by building owners to improve the workplace, making in-office work and their facilities more appealing to tenants.
Embracing the Office Return
The transition back to in-office work highlights the importance and value of the physical workspace. The consensus is that fostering in-person interactions, collaboration, and creativity is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge in today's business environment. Your office is your company's training field, providing a physical space to strengthen team dynamics, nurture company culture and relationships, and provide the foundation for the business's success. The return-to-office is not about forcing employees to get off the couch and schelp into the city; it's a strategic move that business leaders must take to harness the company's full potential.
Are you ready to begin your NYC office space search? We work with companies of all sizes and provide tailored office solutions to fit any office space requirements. Contact us by phone or email to discuss how we can help set up your business for success.