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Office Sharing: The New Trend Helping Businesses Optimize Hybrid Workspaces

As more companies welcome employees back to the office, they’re faced with the challenge of accommodating hybrid workforces that still prefer working from home part of the week. To avoid wasting money and underutilizing spaces, businesses are getting creative with their office setups, including finding corporate roommates to sublease office space.

According to Phil Mobley, the national director of office analytics at CoStar Group, sublease availability has risen by over 100% since 2019. Currently, over 250 million square feet of office space is available for sublease. Big names like Meta, American Greetings, and Publicis have listed significant portions of their office spaces for sublease. Rather than offloading the entire space, these companies are open to dividing the available area into smaller chunks, making it more appealing to potential subtenants.

Subleasing parts of an office, such as floors, suites, or individual seats, is also a popular option among smaller companies. For example, Michael Paffmann, CEO of VirgoPR, subleases office space from a larger company for his eight employees who work in the office two to three times a week. He believes that filling up extra office space is not only financially advantageous but also helps create a more vibrant atmosphere and culture.

Subleasing can address one of the primary concerns executives have about hybrid work – the potential negative impact on corporate culture. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has even noted that some of the company’s offices feel like a “ghost town.”

Finding a corporate roommate often involves informal networking, such as posting on social media or reaching out to professional connections. Some companies also consider timesharing office spaces by co-owning them with another business or going through a company that manages co-tenants. However, timesharing has not yet emerged as a significant trend in traditional office use.

In the long run, subleasing and other office-sharing solutions could be an effective way to cater to the preferences of hybrid workers. A survey by IWG found that 45% of respondents would consider switching jobs if required to return to physical offices full-time, while 61% said they would only look at hybrid roles if they were to seek a new job.