Welcome back to Collective Bookmarks. This week’s newsletter is a 6 minute read, or the time it takes to find the missing sock in your laundry pile. Collective Bookmarks is sponsored by HQO, the world’s leading workplace experience platform.
In This Week’s Issue:
- Three Things You Should Know
- A Person You Should Know: Matt Young
- Product We’re Into: IDN
Events You Should Attend:
Books We’re Reading: Out of Office by C. Warzel & H. Petersen
As always, if you have feedback or questions please reach out.
Three Things You Should Know
From The World of Work and Place
1. Office Tenants Are Renewing Leases, but for Far Less Space
Office lease signings have seen an uptick this year, but the average lease size has decreased, indicating that companies are spending less on office space for the foreseeable future. This shift is attributed to the rise in hybrid work models, allowing employees to work from home more frequently. In Q2, U.S. businesses signed leases for 97.5 million square feet, a significant increase from 57.4 million in Q2 of 2020. However, the average lease size was 3,275 square feet, 19% less than the average between 2015 and 2019. The U.S. office vacancy rate has risen from 9.5% pre-pandemic to 13.2% and is projected to exceed 17% by 2026. This trend is impacting office owners, cities, property values, and the banking system. Large companies like Aon and IBM have reduced their office space, and smaller businesses are following suit. Some companies, like Fluor, are reducing space due to business evolution, while others are influenced by hybrid work policies. Currently, 61% of U.S. companies allow remote work, up from 51% earlier in the year. The number of companies requiring full-time office presence has dropped from 49% to 39%. This trend is expected to continue, with newer companies favoring flexible work models. Even tech firms like Hiya are leasing less space despite workforce growth. While some businesses are expanding their space, many, especially law firms, are reducing their footprint, adapting to hybrid work, and eliminating traditional office features.
2. Working Remotely Can More Than Halve an Office Employee’s Carbon Footprint
During the COVID pandemic’s peak, about 50% of Americans shifted to remote work, and currently, around 20% continue to work from home part-time. While remote work is believed to be beneficial for health and the environment, its actual sustainability has been debated. A new study analyzed the climate impact of remote work in the U.S., considering factors like commuting, energy use, and IT devices. The research found that remote work could cut an individual’s carbon emissions by over half if they adopt sustainable practices at home. However, the study also revealed that remote workers often drive more during the day and might use more energy at home. Some politicians have claimed that remote work can reduce emissions by 95%, but this study refutes that, emphasizing that the actual reduction depends on sustainable living practices. The research also suggests that making office buildings more energy-efficient could make in-office work as green as remote work. While the study focused on the U.S., its findings are believed to be applicable to other industrialized nations. The main conclusion is that while remote work can contribute to a sustainable future, it’s not a complete solution on its own.
3. Remote work thrives in the biggest and fastest-growing parts of the U.S.
In the U.S., 15% of workers operated from home last year, with higher percentages in major cities, especially on the East and West coasts. Boulder, Colorado, led with 32% of its workforce working remotely, followed closely by Denver. Tech hubs like San Francisco, San Jose, and Austin, Texas, also had significant remote work percentages. Over 25% of Washington, D.C.’s workforce worked from home, ranking it 6th among cities. Conversely, Mississippi had the lowest remote work percentage at 5.5%, with the Southeast generally below the national average. However, every state has seen an increase in remote workers since 2019. The national remote work percentage dropped by less than 3 points between 2021 and 2022. Large cities with dense office spaces are where the work-from-home trend is most prevalent. Despite efforts by major employers, including big banks and the federal government, to bring employees back to offices, success has been limited. The likely solution in these cities is the transformation of office buildings into residential spaces and business districts into mixed-use areas, a process already in progress in several cities.
HqO, ranked No. 75 on the Inc. 5000 list, is transforming how people connect with each other and the places they work. The HqO Workplace Experience Platform and App makes it easy for companies and commercial property teams to create modern workplaces through world-class amenities and services that allow people to thrive and produce the best results. Active in over 250 million square feet in 25 countries, 57% of the Fortune 100 rely on HqO to enhance their workplace experiences, improve employee satisfaction, and drive operational excellence.
Someone You Should Know
In the world of Work and Place
Matt Young is an advocate for the future of remote work and event strategist for distributed teams. Since 2013 he has circled the globe immersing himself in communities of people building lives of location independence. He has built coliving spaces designed for remote workers, hosted 30 day immersive retreats in Guatemala and Morocco, and currently, is designing experiences for remote teams to reconnect in exotic places while living in beautiful spaces. Matt believes the future of work is not just at home or back in the office, but in environments designed for human thriving.
What’s Happening in The Collective Connect Community?
We’re very excited for our next live session that we’ll be hosting within the community at the end of September. Denise Brouder of SwayWorkplace will be sharing insights on leading hybrid teams. This is the work that Denise lives and breathes every day so we’re very happy she has agreed to come and both share information, but also answer the community’s burning questions about making hybrid work. To join the session you can apply to join the community below.
A Product We’re Into
“With a rich history spearheading the evolution of infrastructure management, IDN has always placed customers at the heart of our solutions, reshaping traditional approaches to space and asset management with dynamic, client-centric strategies.
Since 2008, IDN has specialized in developing tailored cloud and mobile-based software that reshape how organizations manage their major assets. The focus is on cost efficient innovations, providing real-time, impactful results.
Breaking away from cumbersome legacy systems, we prioritize affordability. Our ‘pay as you go’ solutions ensure you only invest in what you truly need, coupled with the assurance of long-term support.
Our CAFM applications are intuitively designed, eliminating the need for extensive employee training. Whether you’re a newcomer or have experienced legacy IWMS solutions, our software will feel like a natural extension of your operations.
Supported by a network of seasoned industry professionals, our solutions aren’t just innovative—they’re backed by deep domain expertise going back to the early days of AutoCAD and Archibus/FM.
In essence, our mission at IDN is simple: To bridge the gap between intricate asset management needs and user-friendly, cost-effective solutions. If you’re seeking to transform how you manage your infrastructure or looking for an alternative to your current FM application, we would love to discuss how we can collaboratively work towards that future.”
What We Think: IDN was an early technology innovator within the workplace industry and continues to deliver value through a platform that seamlessly integrates with a wide arrow of commercial off-the-shelf applications currently in the marketplace. What distinguishes their product is the profound industry expertise possessed by its creators, who posses an in-depth understanding of our sector, its operators, and end users. Their insights translates into a product that can be easily scaled, mobile-friendly, and centralizes data among multiple applications.
That’s It For This Week
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