Companies dump office space as work-from-home becomes more common

COVID-19 has brought us many new normals: Facemasks, a never-ending shortage of Clorox wipes, and perhaps the biggest change for many -- working remotely.

But it’s not just the employees. Companies, like Advent Health here in Tampa, have had to make big changes.

“I think like many companies, they’ve realized there are major benefits to working from home,” offered Ashley Kritzer with the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Kritzer recently broke the story that Advent Health doesn’t plan to renew its lease at Telecom Park in Tampa in 2021, instead allowing more employees to work from home.

“It’s less expensive in terms of the commute,” Kritzer said. “People feel like they own more of their day. They’re home to make dinner with their families. And Advent Health, like a lot of companies, they realize that.”

Advent tells us 400 team members work at the location they will not be renewing the lease on. They say some will transition to other office locations, and others will continue to work from home.

Commercial real-estate broker Steven Silverman says, we’re going to see a lot of subletting.

“It’s going to be a fundamental change,” Silverman said. “There’s going to be an increase in subleases, where people aren’t going to use their spaces when their lease comes up. Because people have learned to work in different ways.”

With nearly two decades in the industry, Silverman says, the one thing that’s consistent is change. But the change brought on by this pandemic could be a bigger push for a “live-work-play” lifestyle.

“Like they’ll be doing in the Channel district, like they’ll be doing in Midtown,” he said. “Where everything is close; you can live there, have your restaurants, and go shopping. And you can be at work, but you don’t have to be at work, you don’t have to be in the office all of the time.”

Kritzer says leases might end here and there, but there will always remain a need for office space, its purpose might just be shifting.

“You’ll still need that space, to meet and to collaborate, but I think that we will see more working from home in the future, even once the pandemic is behind us,” she added.