Real Estate

Locked: Returning to the office...we can finally put this to bed.

  • Last Updated:
  • May 12th, 2021 4:07 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
2180 posts
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Toronto/Markham

Returning to the office...we can finally put this to bed.

Good insight from Colliers based on their tenants.
https://www.collierscanada.com/en-ca/re ... pring-2021

Office Recovery: The Great Experiment is the third installment in our series on office recovery. To analyze our portfolio, we surveyed a diverse array of tenants across our 31 million square foot national office portfolio.

In this report, you will learn about the impact of remote work on productivity, culture and collaboration, the future of the hybrid model of work, anticipated changes to office vacancy rates, and the rising interest in flexible office spaces.

Key takeaways:

• The great hybrid work experiment is beginning, with most companies (58%) saying they will implement a hybrid model of work.
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Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2006
2230 posts
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The hybrid model of work will feature
prominently in the future, next to fully
in-person work. Only 2% of companies plan to
have employees work remotely full-time.
When employers were asked about their
future workforce, 58% indicated they would be
implementing a hybrid model, where employees
will have an option to work remotely for a
percentage of the week. 40% of employers will
expect employees to be in the office full-time and
only 2% said their workforce will be entirely remote.
And I think that the hybrid experiment will be over soon as well or will result in lower salaries and less job security for remote workers.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
2180 posts
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Toronto/Markham
ilim wrote: And I think that the hybrid experiment will be over soon as well or will result in lower salaries and less job security for remote workers.
I think a hybrid approach done right can work very well and is a win/win/win for everyone. Employers can reduce opex/capex with flex space, employees get the flexibility they need, and we keep more people off the road. I am all for it, I just hope it doesn't become a race to the bottom where everyone goes back in the office for the 'perceived' job security, which I can totally see happen especially in archaic orgs that value time in a seat than productivity.
Last edited by RichmondCA on May 11th, 2021 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RichmondCA wrote: I am all for it, I just hope it doesn't become a race to the bottom where everyone goes back in the office for the 'perceived' job security, which I can totally see happen especially in archaic orgs that value time in a seat than productivity.
According to the report some orgs that value performance also will think twice about allowing people to work remotely.
Remote work is negatively affecting office culture,
opportunities for collaboration, and employee
productivity and well-being.

Maintaining a strong office culture has been notably
difficult to achieve through remote work, with
employers feeling like that sense of culture has
diminished by 28%.

Furthermore, opportunities for
meaningful collaboration, employee productivity,
and employee well-being have declined by
approximately 20%.
It is always funny how people explain that they missed the meeing during the day because they have not seen outlook reminder. Meantime I can not beat the human traffic in the park any time of the day to walk my dog )
[OP]
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Mar 2, 2017
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Must be a government gig :)
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Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2006
2230 posts
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RichmondCA wrote: Must be a government gig :)
I am working with the banks and it increasingly difficult to get everyone required at the meeting.
Deal Addict
Dec 12, 2009
4917 posts
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Gungnir wrote: Way of the road Bubs, way of the road.
You'd think those big rigs with sleepers would have black water tanks.
Last edited by ROYinTO on May 11th, 2021 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Newbie
Mar 25, 2021
55 posts
57 upvotes
Let's assume majority of organizations decide to keep hybrid model (in my opinion it will create competition for more time in the office for job growth reasons, you can't become a manager if you do not interact with people, and no, Teams will not ever replace face to face interactions) two things are still not adding up:
even commuting 2-3 days to the office from distant places would not be fun
why would companies pay premium for expensive local workforce for every position if they are not anywhere to be seen. Many jobs could be outsourced for lower cost, plus this would affect wage growth as they can easily replace existing position with literally any qualified person in the country (full remote positions) so less job security.

Answer is simple, it wont happen!
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 11, 2011
517 posts
592 upvotes
Toronto
Roninsh wrote: Let's assume majority of organizations decide to keep hybrid model (in my opinion it will create competition for more time in the office for job growth reasons, you can't become a manager if you do not interact with people, and no, Teams will not ever replace face to face interactions)
But what if its in VR?
Never say never :D
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Mar 30, 2010
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Good thing I switched jobs to a different company that's only 20 minutes away.

No more high definition piss jugs for this man.

Truth be told, I never banked on WFH being permanent. I suspect that these companies talking about about hybrid models will backtrack on that as well at some point in the near future.
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Member
Jan 9, 2012
244 posts
235 upvotes
US is at least 6 months ahead of Canada. I talk to many friends in US. Here is common pattern.
1. Most companies have left to team managers to decide between hybrid model (2-3 days a week) or complete remote. The split is 50-50.
2. Most have guaranteed in updated companies policy that as far career progression is concerned they wont differentiate between hybrid and complete remote workers.
3. Most hi-tech companies are leaning toward fully remote like okta, etsy, twitter, coinbase to broaden their talent base. These are usually top paying jobs.
4. Vaccines are mandatory to enter office. But companies cant enforce employee to take vaccine or work from office as all vaccine are approved on emergency approval not regular approval.
5. All managers of managers should in commutable distance of office so that they can micro manage employee on bigger monitors.
6. International moves not allowed due to payroll taxes complications.
7. Employees are encouraged to attend team building activities on quarterly basis.

It takes humans 21 days to form a habit. Entire world is trained to work from home for 1.5 years. Does anyone expect the clock to be rolled back? Definitely these low IQ low level manager will try to push paste into tube. All these companies are on long term lease which they cant get out easily. In person is not effective if half team is remote. So they will try hard to bring everyone in. These managers are hostage to sunk cost fallacy.
Obviously Colliers Canada is talking their books. They are better of converting their property to residential units.
Having said that Canada is usually half decade behind USA so some companies in Canada can go fully in office.
RichmondCA wrote: I think a hybrid approach done right can work very well and is a win/win/win for everyone. Employers can reduce opex/capex with flex space, employees get the flexibility they need, and we keep more people off the road. I am all for it, I just hope it doesn't become a race to the bottom where everyone goes back in the office for the 'perceived' job security, which I can totally see happen especially in archaic orgs that value time in a seat than productivity.
Jr. Member
Mar 22, 2007
103 posts
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Westmount
I can see this hybrid model causing depressed wage growths as companies would likely not pay as high a wage for an employees who is fully remote in rural towns vs one who is living in Toronto. There does not seem to anything stopping employment bias on location so I can see employers specifically choosing remote workers living further from the city over those living closer by in higher cost of living areas like the GTA.

All in all, If you already have a job at a company do not expect the same kind of corporate mobility as its likely a sideways move would result in a lower wage overall given the competition from remote workers.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
4328 posts
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Ottawa
Roninsh wrote: Let's assume majority of organizations decide to keep hybrid model (in my opinion it will create competition for more time in the office for job growth reasons, you can't become a manager if you do not interact with people, and no, Teams will not ever replace face to face interactions) two things are still not adding up:
even commuting 2-3 days to the office from distant places would not be fun
why would companies pay premium for expensive local workforce for every position if they are not anywhere to be seen. Many jobs could be outsourced for lower cost, plus this would affect wage growth as they can easily replace existing position with literally any qualified person in the country (full remote positions) so less job security.

Answer is simple, it wont happen!
I think many organizations will try a hybrid model, but I think it is destined to fail. Just the logistics and risks of remote work will lead to its failure. The current WFH has been a quick response to an emergency and is not true WFH. In a true WFH situation the employer has to deal with security and safety issues such as an employee gets up and answers their door for a delivery and trips and sprains or breaks an ankle. Is this now a WSIB claim?

I agree with you that going into the office 2-3 days a week all be a PIA. For instance are employees going to continue to buy expensive monthly parking passes to use a couple of the days a week?

Many people feel remote work means they can work anywhere and many are not taking into account the impact of time differences on their work.

Ultimately, I think the biggest risk is being played out right now in the US and the cyber attack on the oil pipeline. Organizations are coming under more and more cyber attacks and all it takes is a successful attack and the release of personal and private information related to remote access and organizations will plug that risk quickly.
Jr. Member
Nov 3, 2008
101 posts
141 upvotes
As someone that worked in an office for 23 years before being home for 1.5 years I'd say from the employee angle I'm 60% in favour of staying remote. Even though I have a home office there's still something satisfying about having an office separate from your home life, but it's more satisfying having the flexibility to mow my lawn at 2pm because it's going to rain at 5pm Smiling Face With Sunglasses

But from the employer angle... micro-managing is hard habit to kick! Due to a combination of ego and insecurity there are too many owners and managers eager to crack that whip again (insecurity) because they can't fathom that people working under them could possibly be capable of being productive without them (ego). I also think that a lot of owners need to have "something to show" outside of financial reports, so they like having a big building that indicates success even if the big building is a huge unnecessary expense in the modern age.
Banned
Jan 4, 2021
51 posts
37 upvotes
RichmondCA wrote: I think a hybrid approach done right can work very well and is a win/win/win for everyone. Employers can reduce opex/capex with flex space, employees get the flexibility they need, and we keep more people off the road. I am all for it, I just hope it doesn't become a race to the bottom where everyone goes back in the office for the 'perceived' job security, which I can totally see happen especially in archaic orgs that value time in a seat than productivity.
The big 5 banks were moving to flex office space and "ecosystems" since way before the pandemic. They invested a lot of money into these renovations with "flex" space.

If you're not familiar how it works:
1) you are not assigned a desk.
2) you get a locker
3) 'first come first serve' to get a desk. There are obviously ample desk space with monitors/hook up.
-if you left this desk for lunch/break, you had to take all your stuff with you. You could return to it, if someone didn't take it.
4) With covid, this will change slightly, as the desk you pick, is yours for the day for "sanitary" reasons.
5) meeting spaces had to be booked well in advance.
6) Most importantly: Each employee was going to get a laptop if they didn't have one.

This was the new model being operated well before the pandemic hit. And it was only a matter of time when most head office workers would be working in this type of space out of the down town core.

The only groups not doing this, are the call centers. But the call centers were never down town to begin with.


The future is hybrid models. 1 to 3 days a week in the office for any mid-tier levels. Lower levels on jobs that require office presence, will remain in the office.
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Oct 27, 2012
2519 posts
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Toronto
dealhunter69420 wrote: The big 5 banks were moving to flex office space and "ecosystems" since way before the pandemic. They invested a lot of money into these renovations with "flex" space.

If you're not familiar how it works:
1) you are not assigned a desk.
2) you get a locker
3) 'first come first serve' to get a desk. There are obviously ample desk space with monitors/hook up.
-if you left this desk for lunch/break, you had to take all your stuff with you. You could return to it, if someone didn't take it.
4) With covid, this will change slightly, as the desk you pick, is yours for the day for "sanitary" reasons.
5) meeting spaces had to be booked well in advance.
6) Most importantly: Each employee was going to get a laptop if they didn't have one.

This was the new model being operated well before the pandemic hit. And it was only a matter of time when most head office workers would be working in this type of space out of the down town core.

The only groups not doing this, are the call centers. But the call centers were never down town to begin with.


The future is hybrid models. 1 to 3 days a week in the office for any mid-tier levels. Lower levels on jobs that require office presence, will remain in the office.
My employer (not a big 5 bank, but think major asset manager/pension fund) had announced we were moving from our having our own individual office/cubicle to something like the above. At the beginning they said it wouldn't affect expectations on office attendance (it was set by group, my group was WFH 1x/week, others discouraged WFH).

Moving forward, they have stated repeatedly that some form of office attendance will be expected.

I will miss having that semi-corner private office. Crying Face
Banned
Jan 4, 2021
51 posts
37 upvotes
skipper1979 wrote: US is at least 6 months ahead of Canada. I talk to many friends in US. Here is common pattern.
1. Most companies have left to team managers to decide between hybrid model (2-3 days a week) or complete remote. The split is 50-50.
2. Most have guaranteed in updated companies policy that as far career progression is concerned they wont differentiate between hybrid and complete remote workers.
3. Most hi-tech companies are leaning toward fully remote like okta, etsy, twitter, coinbase to broaden their talent base. These are usually top paying jobs.
4. Vaccines are mandatory to enter office. But companies cant enforce employee to take vaccine or work from office as all vaccine are approved on emergency approval not regular approval.
5. All managers of managers should in commutable distance of office so that they can micro manage employee on bigger monitors.
6. International moves not allowed due to payroll taxes complications.
7. Employees are encouraged to attend team building activities on quarterly basis.

It takes humans 21 days to form a habit. Entire world is trained to work from home for 1.5 years. Does anyone expect the clock to be rolled back? Definitely these low IQ low level manager will try to push paste into tube. All these companies are on long term lease which they cant get out easily. In person is not effective if half team is remote. So they will try hard to bring everyone in. These managers are hostage to sunk cost fallacy.
Obviously Colliers Canada is talking their books. They are better of converting their property to residential units.
Having said that Canada is usually half decade behind USA so some companies in Canada can go fully in office.
yep
this is what put the nail into the coffin for me, and why I am betting the farm (bought in 905 lol) on it.
If COVID ended in September 2020, the conversation would be different.

It is now May 2021, and we still aren't close to having our first vaccine.

Most of us won't have our first dose until July.

Second Dose, likely won't happen for the masses until October/November.

There is not a chance that anyone is going back to the office in December, during flu seasons/cold/bad weather/the time when most people get sick.

This postpones opening at the minimum April 2022 or so. By then it's 2.25 years working from home. LOL good luck telling your workers that "work from home is over" 2.25 years into it. By then, hybrid models will be set in stone.

Hybrid is the new model for jobs that can accommodate it and dinosaur managers will adapt, or lose good people.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
2180 posts
3845 upvotes
Toronto/Markham
dealhunter69420 wrote: The big 5 banks were moving to flex office space and "ecosystems" since way before the pandemic. They invested a lot of money into these renovations with "flex" space.

If you're not familiar how it works:
1) you are not assigned a desk.
2) you get a locker
3) 'first come first serve' to get a desk. There are obviously ample desk space with monitors/hook up.
-if you left this desk for lunch/break, you had to take all your stuff with you. You could return to it, if someone didn't take it.
4) With covid, this will change slightly, as the desk you pick, is yours for the day for "sanitary" reasons.
5) meeting spaces had to be booked well in advance.
6) Most importantly: Each employee was going to get a laptop if they didn't have one.

This was the new model being operated well before the pandemic hit. And it was only a matter of time when most head office workers would be working in this type of space out of the down town core.

The only groups not doing this, are the call centers. But the call centers were never down town to begin with.


The future is hybrid models. 1 to 3 days a week in the office for any mid-tier levels. Lower levels on jobs that require office presence, will remain in the office.
This is referred to as 'hoteling' and it has been happening for over a decade at many big corps already. Ask any accountant at a big 4.
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Jan 17, 2006
2230 posts
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dealhunter69420 wrote: The big 5 banks were moving to flex office space and "ecosystems" since way before the pandemic. They invested a lot of money into these renovations with "flex" space.

If you're not familiar how it works:
1) you are not assigned a desk.
2) you get a locker
3) 'first come first serve' to get a desk. There are obviously ample desk space with monitors/hook up.
-if you left this desk for lunch/break, you had to take all your stuff with you. You could return to it, if someone didn't take it.
4) With covid, this will change slightly, as the desk you pick, is yours for the day for "sanitary" reasons.
5) meeting spaces had to be booked well in advance.
6) Most importantly: Each employee was going to get a laptop if they didn't have one.

This was the new model being operated well before the pandemic hit. And it was only a matter of time when most head office workers would be working in this type of space out of the down town core.

The only groups not doing this, are the call centers. But the call centers were never down town to begin with.


The future is hybrid models. 1 to 3 days a week in the office for any mid-tier levels. Lower levels on jobs that require office presence, will remain in the office.
Forget about it, banks are calling everyone back to the office as soon as the green light is given.
A system that you described as far as I know only fully implemented in CITI and they confirmed that everyone will be back in the office.
Banks have that system to simplify the resource and infrastructure management among global locations and outsourced teams but if you work in Toronto they expect you to find that desk in the office.
That is much worse than having at least a cubicle by the way.
Also, that system in place for cost-saving purposes as well, as they employ army in India and other countries, and they not paying them the same money as local here.
Last edited by ilim on May 12th, 2021 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Banned
Jan 4, 2021
51 posts
37 upvotes
ilim wrote: Forget about it, banks are calling everyone back to the office as soon as the green light is given.
A system that you described as far as I know only fully implemented in CITI and they confirmed that everyone will be back in the office.
Banks have that system to simplify the resource and infrastructure management among global locations and outsourced teams but if you work in Toronto they expect you to find that desk in the office.
That is much worse than having at least cubicle by the way.
Sure.
given that I work for the big 5, my spouse works for the big 5, and all my friends work at various big 5, and we all work in "ecosystems" (yes i have friends in head office at all major banks), it's great that you're telling me it doesn't work like that.

oh and all the CEO's are telling us hybrid is here to stay... but yeah ok ill take your word on it!
Last edited by dealhunter69420 on May 12th, 2021 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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