NEW YORK—A new study from the CoreNet Global New York City Chapter finds that the vast majority of companies are not looking to leave New York City anytime soon in the wake of COVID-19. More than 82% of the 67% tenant and landlord respondents are in the process of reopening parts of their global portfolios, while more than 95% are currently relying on social distancing measures, such as reorganized office plans, more extensive remote working and flex spaces.
Meanwhile, less than 4% note any plans to set up satellite offices elsewhere, while less than eight percent are also considering it. For now, the focus for businesses is on re-strategizing current spaces and policies to keep the workforce safe, while remaining in New York City.
“While it is a positive sign that many of our respondents continue to be committed to New York City, it is still too early to determine the true impact of COVID-19 on the New York area real estate market. It is a trend we will continue to monitor closely,“ said Sheena Gohil, CoreNet NYC Chair & Executive Director of Colliers International, in prepared remarks.
More than half of the respondents also noted that they will be using or considering new technologies to help keep workplaces safe, while nearly 93% will be providing employees with PPE. However, anecdotally, office amenities will be severely curtailed as people return to work, and many companies are creating COVID-19 task forces to ensure oversight and safety. Additionally, phased and staggered occupancy appears to be the norm for now.
Even though there is a developing body of best practices right, companies will need to create custom tailored strategies that address the needs of how their teams work, according to Tommy O’Halloran, vice president, Business Development at Structure Tone. “People want to get back to work in New York City, not in satellite offices, but they want to know they are going to stay healthy. It will be incredibly important for companies to instill confidence in the safety of their offices.”