Will COVID-19 raise the importance of health and wellbeing in the commercial office sector? – The Property Chronicle
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Will COVID-19 raise the importance of health and wellbeing in the commercial office sector?

The Analyst

As the world grapples with COVID-19, it has become apparent that many lives and sectors of the economy will be affected for many years to come. While the prediction of the nature and magnitude of the impending transformation might not be a straightforward task, the current mitigation measures being implemented globally can be conceived as a harbinger of potential long-term approaches that relevant stakeholders might consider in tackling another pandemic or indeed, other infectious diseases. With the lockdown of many global cities, urban life is expected to change and clearly, we may not be able to go back to normalliving after the pandemic [1]. The ‘social distancing’ measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus and with the current level of awareness, people are likely to develop lasting habits such as reducing physical contact either with other people and high-touch surfaces, which might change how buildings are accessed and used.

There is likely to be an increase in demand for more contactless access that relies on the use of chips or facial recognition, especially in high-traffic commercial buildings. Furniture might change tooas office desk requirements are likely to increase due to reduced appetite for shared spaces and co-working [2]. And at the extreme of the change spectrum, there might even be new de-densification policies relating especially to space per employeeand maximum occupancy for lifts and receptions. In terms of mobility, people are now being encouraged to travel more to workon bikes [23]. These are potential health and wellbeing issues that COVID-19 is likely to push to the front burner as far as the office space demand is concerned. It would, therefore, be expected that commercial property stakeholders will begin to rethink the relationship between offices and wellbeing of occupiers. 

The Analyst

About Tunbosun Oyedokun

Tunbosun Oyedokun

Tunbosun Oyedokun is a Lecturer in Real Estate at the University of Glasgow where he is responsible for delivering Real Estate Markets and Development Appraisal modules to students on a range of postgraduate real estate and planning programmes. His research interests relate to the pricing and performance analysis of real estate assets and the factors that influence the decision-making processes of property market stakeholders.

Articles by Tunbosun Oyedokun

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