Flexible office options viable for small businesses
- The Charleston office market absorbed 149,627 square feet during the second quarter of 2020, pulling the overall vacancy rate down to 13.30%.
- Due to rising operational costs pushing rental rates up, the demand for flexible office options will likely rise to accommodate small businesses in the Charleston market.
Rising demand for flexible office space
In a post-COVID-19 Charleston office market, operational costs are potentially on the rise forcing rental rates to climb. This is the necessary result of office owners taking safety and cleanliness precautions to ensure tenants can operate comfortably, while simultaneously practicing social distancing guidelines. Some tenants will even expand into larger spaces in order to allow more space per employee. However, these factors present obstacles to small business owners. Smaller companies do not have the ability to rent larger space to adapt to social distancing or to even pay the rising rental rates for a minimal office space. The demand for flexible office options will likely rise to accommodate small businesses in the Charleston market. Flexible office spaces allow smaller companies to have a physical address, a support team, and a remote-working network. In addition, business owners have the option to choose the type of office which is needed-whether it be one reserved desk or a small team collaboration area. Furthermore, if the flexible office has an entrance separate from other tenants, small business owners will be attracted to the option of minimal contact with other building tenants. For larger companies that may be worried about density in their single office location or for companies that may want satellite locations to accommodate the trend of employees working closer to home during and post-Covid, the hub-and-spoke multiple location model is gaining popularity for local, regional and national companies. Companies will retain their centralized office location and will establish additional smaller locations in the various submarkets of the Charleston Metro Area. Since the Charleston economy remains positive post COVID-19, it will follow that new businesses will begin to pop-up throughout the market. With flexible office space options in Charleston, both large and small businesses will be able to thrive.
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