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NYREJ Publishes Article by Thomas Kearns on Returning to Offices After COVID-19

May 26, 2020

New York Real Estate Journal recently published an article written by Olshan Real Estate Partner Thomas Kearns entitled “Offices After COVID-19.” The article examines the concerns that many businesses and corporations that use offices have and what problems will arise once the “New York on PAUSE” order begins to lift.  Mr. Kearns started by listing the positive results that working from home has had for businesses and corporations that usually use offices. He commented, “Certainly the work at home model has helped businesses such as law firms, insurance brokers, money managers and others continue to service clients, customers and investors.” He continued “…the remote work environment is fraught with complications and limitations.” Although working from home has it’s perks, Mr. Kearns continues to explain why working in an office is the primary option for many businesses, “An office populated by a group of people is popular in part because it allows the business to hire designated employees to print documents, arrange for deliveries and type way faster than I can.”  However, Mr. Kearns focused on the underlying question that has plagued the professional world. Will offices survive the pandemic or will working from home become permanent? He answered yes but mentioned, “…changes will occur.” He continued by expanding on what these changes would be, “Will businesses need as much space if a significant percentage of their employees can function well remotely? Maybe not. Will the push toward densification of office space as a way to reduce space costs continue? Maybe not. Will “hot desk” arrangements survive? Perhaps in a very modified form.” Mr. Kearns concluded, “But despite all these changes, my view is that the gathering of the key people managing each business and servicing customers in one place on a daily or near daily basis is an important element of a business’ success and will remain so for the future.”

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