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How Much Office Space Will We Need Post-COVID?

Assumptions change day by day and companies need new tools to respond. Sasaki’s in-house data visualization specialists and software developers are arming companies with new ways to scenario plan for a return to offices as vaccination rates rise.

We’re hearing from clients that they need usable data to 1. Understand options amidst uncertainty, 2. Inform an evolving return to work policy as vaccination rates rise, and 3. Scenario plan around space use for the full length of a lease.

Where in the past companies and design teams might have had a framework to fall back on, there are many more factors and moving parts to consider at this moment:

  • Will work travel really come back in full force?
  • How many offices will we need?
  • What if the majority of our employees work remotely from now on?
  • When people do come into the office, what are we gathering for and what do we need?
  • Fundamentally, what kinds of spaces will we really need and how much of it should we plan for?

A leading expert in office design, Elizabeth von Goeler, empathizes with the set of challenges corporate clients are grappling with at this moment. “It’s hard to know how to plan for the future when so many factors are in flux. This is where data-rich, intuitive dashboards (as part of a planning and design process) can really help companies to scenario plan even as inputs change and new questions arise–seemingly by the day.”

For corporations and institutions, alike, the ability to make sense of data in a visual, simple way has proven invaluable. “A client we’re working with on their global office strategy found great value in not just the findings, but also the ability they now have to communicate around complex decision-making. Having tangible scenarios to react to together across departments and geographies and getting aligned on the issues is half the battle,” says Victor Vizgaitis, AIA, a principal and Sasaki’s chair of architecture. “Using the dashboard we built together, this client has a much better sense of how to use their space in the short term, while also anticipating changing needs in the long-term.”

“We're seeing this exponential spike in demand from clients who need to map out future state scenarios responsive to COVID, especially as the new vaccines pave the way back to the office and to on-the-road work travel. Despite the uncertainty, companies need to find ways to plan for the next 3-6 months and beyond."

Tristan Rock, Director of Business Development

To learn more about custom data dashboards and how they might help your planning and design of spaces in 2021, contact Tristan Rock

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