Publications

- April 1, 2022: Vol. 16, Number 4

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Tumultuous times for office: If office properties do not address changes in workplace patterns and wellness concerns in a post-COVID world, they will fail

by Alex Frew McMillan

The office sector has arguably seen the greatest shift produced by the pandemic. Once the go-to investment for institutions with the money to play, office assets suddenly became a pariah thanks to COVID-19. No one wanted to share four walls, sealed windows and an A/C system with a bunch of loosely connected colleagues at the height of a mysterious and scary disease.

True, retail property and hotels have also been hit hard, but it is a tectonic shift to see office property fall down the list of priorities for investors. Many investors coming into 2022 and looking at 2023 say they are excited about logistics, life sciences, data centres. Office? Well, yes, they guess they need to hold that, too.

“COVID has created a lot of confusion in the office market, particularly within the investment community,” says Simon Martin, chief investment strategist and head of research at Tristan Capital Partners. The pandemic accelerated two themes “we all knew about, but not everyb

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