What will be the impact to the Columbia office market from COVID-19?
- Despite negative absorption during the COVID-19 quarantine period, Columbia office vacancy rate still remains low at 9.24%. When pandemic restrictions are relaxed or lifted, market activity is expected to return over the next 12 months.
- Less populated tertiary markets, like Columbia, may see less post-Coronavirus changes than major and secondary markets.
Columbia changes are minimal
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the operations of almost every type of business throughout the world. Major and secondary markets are likely to change the most, while tertiary markets, such as Columbia, may survive with limited overall changes. For several months quarantine restrictions forced businesses to: shut down, switch to a remote-working environment or minimize operations using essential employees only. Now that restrictions are being relaxed or lifted, the degree to which various markets are affected based on size and population density is becoming apparent.
During a regular weekly commute, employees within major and secondary markets rely heavily on mass transit creating millions of daily interactions. It was, and still is, necessary to remove this aspect for employees due to the Coronavirus, and switch to a remote work environment to eliminate the high-level of social interaction. Businesses unable to accommodate employees working remotely are now either looking to expand their footprint, or working at half-capacity by either alternating work days or using rotating shifts in order to abide by social distancing standards within densely-populated offices.
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