Local oce market trends While rental rates have remained fairly stagnant, Cy-Fair oce vacancy rates have been on the rise since before the pandemic. New oce space construction was down in 2020, but oce condos and other workspaces continue to open locally.
Construction data New oce construction completed (in square feet)
Total oce vacancy (in square feet)
Rental rates per square foot
40,000 80,000 120,000 160,000 200,000 240,000
23 22 21
0 2016 Q1
0 2016 Q1
SOURCE: CALDWELL COMPANIES COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
demand. You can’t do that with a traditional lease or a traditional landlord.” Thakur said after months of remote work, some have realized it is no longer a good t because of dis- tractions at home or mental health concerns. “In the majority of companies, working from an oce [is] there for a reason,” he said. “History has proved for collaboration, communication and for e- ciency overall between teams, you just can’t beat it.” Hadamik said she is also seeing increased interest at The Work Well coworking space and Creekstone Oce Condos, and some companies with corporate oces downtown are giving employees a stipend to work out of satellite oces closer to home. Coworking spaces oer a range of exible packages, and oce condos allow businesses to purchase their own space rather than committing to long leases. Hadamik said these options can accommodate entre- preneurs as they re-evaluate what comes next. “Now that they have skipped the commute … I think they’re used to it, and they don’t want to go back to downtown or in the loop or wherever they were traveling every day,” she said.
with COVID,” she said. While remote work can be isolating, Rigby said many are more satised as they can spend more time with family and take care of to-do list items such as exercise and laundry during lunch breaks. Duy said employers will likely continue to oer more exible work schedules with some level of a remote option. However, employees are more likely to stay engaged if they have friends at work, have ade- quate materials and feel their managers care about them. These items are all more easily accomplished from an oce, he said. “I think if you want to recruit and maintain your intellectual capital, which is your people, it’s going to be very dicult to replace the benets of working in an oce,” he said. Becomingmore exible Mike Thakur opened a coworking space with exec- utive suites in 2015 after working from home and realizing small businesses had few versatile, impres- sive oce options. The WorkLodge was designed to oer the exibility to scale up or down as needed in a vibrant, collaborative environment. “The value for ex spaces has just become so much more apparent because of the pandemic,” he said. “Here, you can grow or shrink almost on
“THE VALUE FOR FLEX SPACES HAS JUST BECOME SOMUCHMORE APPARENT BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC.”
MIKE THAKUR, FOUNDER
OF THE WORKLODGE
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the aver- age Cy-Fair resident had a 32-minute commute to work before the pandemic. A portion of the work- force could eliminate their commute entirely as they transition to working from home indenitely, including several employees of First Community Credit Union, said Katie Rigby, senior vice president of human resources. During the COVID-19 pandemic, employees who do not interact directly with credit union members such as marketing and support sta worked from home. Rigby said as many as 42% of the company’s 360 employees worked remotely during the pan- demic, and that number was still 15% by April. “There were some permanent changes in terms of our exibility with people working remotely as a result of us having to adapt and change very quickly
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CYFAIR EDITION • MAY 2021
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