Previously, businesses had little interest in spending on such services, according to Rebecca Humphrey, executive vice president of Savills and head of the Workplace Practice Group. “A customer says’ I don’t want to pay for that, I just want to do this deal,” she said. “The epidemic has moved it.”
His Savills co-worker, Mr. Lipson, said he also saw potential changes for some staunch traditionalists, such as the White-shoe law firms in Washington. “The senior fellow went home last March thinking about my paper, I can’t do without my paper, and I can’t do without my assistant outside my office,” he said. “Then they spent the same number of hours the next week and thought, ‘Huh, I got better than I thought?”
With companies anticipating changes, and reactions to them, a new role of real estate firms may be a scapegoat.
For businesses with employees reluctant to return to office, consultants’ seal of approval can provide credibility – and a reason for returning office employees.
“We’re very helpful in playing the role of the bad guy,” Ms. Humphrey said, noting the appropriate amount of business helped audit office plans and help companies communicate changes or bring people back. “It helps deliver the message that ‘we bring people outside.”
What is an office for?
Sixteen storeys in a quiet midtown Manhattan high-rise, Joseph J. Sitt leapt from her feet and pointed to a television headline that told her heartily: Distance Work Ending soon For New York City government employees. He was agitating for a sign like this. “if She is Employees don’t have to go back to the office, “he said,” Who’s there? “
Mr. Sitt, the chief executive of Thor Equities, reopened his own workplace last July, unveiling what he called a “Kovid conference room”, with chairs more generously stacked with a shed. (“I think I should call it a socially perverted conference room,” he corrected himself.) He was counting on a “violent reopening”.