Couch or Cubicle?

This article originally appeared in the Albany Business Review. Click here to read more.

The office isn’t dead.

But it’s certainly changing in the short-term because of COVID-19 — Plexiglas partitions, temperature checks, occupancy limits — and perhaps will forever be altered by the pandemic.

There’s no shortage of opinions on where the workplace is headed as millions of people continue to do their jobs remotely to help prevent catching or spreading the coronavirus.

But no one knows whether the changes will only last until there’s a vaccine, or whether the experiences of the past four months represent a tipping point for office life in the United States.

It could take a few years for the impacts to be fully known since commercial real estate is a lagging industry.

Office tenants are locked into leases. It takes time for a business to figure out whether it needs less space because more employees are working from home, and then negotiate with their existing or new landlord for the right fit.