Will COVID-19 check (mate) Corporate Real Estate?

The first electric car was invented in 1890, although we had to wait until the mid 1990s for GM’s EV1 to be ready for mass-production, and until the end of last year for Volkswagen’s electric version of the 1972 Type 2 Camper. Why has it taken so long for them to be a common sight? Wouldn’t it have been more sustainable, among other things, to have started earlier? We’re all aware how much power the oil industry and automotive sector lobbies wield , but manufacturers didn’t change until they were pretty much cornered. That may well be because when a vehicle is made, the spare parts, which generate more profit than the car itself. are available for 15 years. Chew on that.

Having to stay at home is in some ways similar. Many studies say that 80% of people who work in an office could do so remotely. Not only because of the work they do, but also thanks to technology, communications, access to information and the ability to interact practically in real time with colleagues, thanks to 5G. Among countless other benefits, doing so would be more sustainable, there would be fewer traffic jams, people would have more free time and a better work-life balance. But what would happen to offices? They would still be necessary, but surely they’d be smaller and it would take much less time than it does now to achieve the same results. So, why wasn’t it done sooner?

Whatever it takes, the owners of these spaces, who are mainly investment funds, don’t want anything to jeopardise their rent. This is where they will exert the same power that oil companies or car manufacturers did back in the day to prevent the shift to electric cars, but… will they succeed?

When the crisis is over, many business people will have changed their attitudes towards working remotely and see the results gained from a different perspective. They’ll have little choice but to embrace it, they’ll assess the results and will have to make decisions. They are the ones who’ll have to be ready for the shift first, as it depends on them.

Ultimately, we are facing a significant change, not only for office owners, but also for those who provide them with services. Do you think it’s the beginning of the end for offices as we know them? How can all those square feet in the most exclusive city areas be used? Could giving them a function beyond office hours be the solution? Whatever the answer, we’re sure that this will mark a new era for offices and for Facility Management activities that support them.

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