Publications

- September 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 8

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How will we work? Much about the future of office remains uncertain amid the COVID-19 pandemic

by Loretta Clodfelter

Earlier this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the shutdowns in its wake, office buildings across the country emptied. With widespread adoption of working from home as a temporary measure, and concerns about contagion leading to increased need for physical distance, questions about the future of the office industry have come to the fore.

One of the key features of the office market six months out from the declaration of a global pandemic is profound uncertainty.

“There’s so much unknown with office,” says Josh Zegen, managing principal and co-founder of Madison Realty Capital. He says the office sector is facing more uncertainty than other property types. Unlike the retail and hotel sectors, with clear headwinds, or the industrial sector, with clear tailwinds, it remains to be seen how the office sector ultimately will be affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

When examining the future impact of the pandemic, it is important to bifurcate the short and long te

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