In the early days of the pandemic, experts across the commercial real estate industry consistently opined the market would see companies move toward a hub-and-spoke office-using model to accommodate employees that had moved away from central office locations. But according to a new JLL analysis, investment is increasingly moving back to the hub, less so the spokes.

The hub-and-spoke office model essentially conceived of a company's headquarters as the hub, with other satellite offices spinning off that hub like spokes on a wheel. But "working patterns have evolved differently than some expected," JLL analysts note. "For instance, asynchronous work has gained momentum. And employees are content with working at home or going to flexible workspaces to supplement their days in the corporate office…This has companies asking what role their central offices will play, and how to make it worth the commute."

A recent survey by JLL found that 53% of companies will make working from home permanent within three years while 77% say quality workspace beats quantity. Forty-five percent think collaborative working is one of he primary purposes of office space. The survey, which included more than 1,000 real estate decision makers globally, also suggests that the period from now until 2025 will be a "crucial window of opportunity" for organizations to redefine workplace strategies and create spaces that will effectively lure employees back to the office.

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