Regarding the impact of remote work, the Seattle Commercial Real Estate market is no different than the tech industry giants. Remote work is here to stay. That does not change a huge dynamic for office users. Meta, Amazon, Google, T-Mobile, Microsoft, and others have come to a clear understanding of the liability of remote work. That is the need for people to interact and work with their coworkers. Building team spirit and problem-solving is not done easily remotely. Collaborative, in-person relationships are the best solution and that is why all of the big tech companies now require, as a condition of employment, that workers come in at least three days a week. The issue of three days a week in the marketplace is still a function of the dynamic of a lack of employees to fill the jobs that are in demand. Only when there are fewer jobs than employees will the power of the employer shift to full-time office occupancy.
A recent national article clearly pointed out that skills, behaviors, and business cultures are based on learned behaviors through informal interactions, which cannot be taught via Zoom or Teams. Social cohesion reduces isolation and loneliness. Remote work must be balanced against individual needs and the long-term success of the business paying wages. Seattle’s commercial real estate is going to live or die by the dynamics of a rapidly changing business core.