Commercial office sector crash or revival?

New York City’s biggest corporate landlords have thrived for years — benefiting from a great economy in a city where companies nearly fought each other to set up offices. Even for a city as booming as New York, those days are over. After three years of the pandemic, floors of office buildings have been left empty, with occupiers reducing their footprint and employees working from home.

There has been a lot of talk about the commercial office sector crash. Many headlines have highlighted the challenges faced by the commercial property industry. 

However, the devil is always in the details because not all office buildings are equal. While some may struggle to attract tenants and maintain occupancy rates, others continue to thrive. Why? One crucial factor that sets successful office spaces apart is their commitment to sustainability and occupant wellbeing. In an era where environmental consciousness and employee satisfaction play significant roles in business decisions, sustainable buildings have emerged as the preferred choice for many organisations.

Rising demand for good quality office space

Good quality office space will always be in demand. Because let’s be honest here: part of the employees currently working from home will want to return to the office when the heating costs start to rise, backs get sore or homely distractions become a nuisance. They will only take the step of returning, though, when they know the office they’re returning to is an upgrade from their home space.

So, as businesses do whatever they can to get their employees returning to the office and bring productivity levels back to where they once were, they seek office spaces that offer more than just four walls and a roof. Those who understand this changing landscape can capitalise on the growing demand for sustainable buildings.

The key elements of sustainable buildings

Sustainable buildings offer numerous benefits for commercial property investors. Obviously, energy-efficient buildings reduce operational costs in the long run and contribute to environmental sustainability. However, a sustainable building with certifications such as LEED attracts more potential tenants. It allows landlords to charge premium rents due to the added value they provide these tenants. As tenants prefer office spaces that not only prioritise their wellbeing but also improve their brand image, the occupancy rates will improve.

How do we capitalise on this growing demand? Focus on incorporating key elements into sustainable buildings. Energy efficiency, natural light, indoor air quality, green spaces, smart technology, and flexible layouts will attract tenants prioritising sustainability and occupant wellbeing. But to achieve a truly sustainable and well-performing building, information and control play the most important role. Utilising smart technology allows for better control of energy usage. It enhances operational efficiency and supports us in reaching our net-zero targets. Knowing how our buildings perform and clear information about energy consumption and possible waste allows us to take action and stay in control.

The benefits of sustainable buildings in a nutshell

The benefits of sustainable buildings extend beyond higher tenant demand to increased rental income, better occupancy rates, improved brand image, and cost savings. In an evolving business landscape where sustainability is paramount, investing in good-quality office space with occupant wellbeing as a priority won’t just lead to increased rental income and better occupancy rates, but is the most important strategic move on all fronts – for all those involved.