Lease Lengths Shrink as Corporate Occupiers Focus On Flex

Last fall, amid a chaotic time of tech layoffs, slumping office space demand, and continued interest rate hikes, data emerged that office occupiers were looking at shorter lease terms. It wasn’t an entirely new trend since the early days of the pandemic, the big question surrounding the future of the office was already leading many in the industry to think about scaling back lease terms. But nearly three years after the early days of the global health crisis, with average office occupancy still significantly lower and a looming recession, office occupiers—especially larger corporate users—are looking to mitigate risks with shorter leases and more flex space. 

As vaccines began to roll out in the first half of 2021, a lot of occupiers began planning their return-to-office plans. While a lot of workplaces quickly returned back to the normal that existed before March 2020 (plus masks and some social distancing), many others around the country remained empty or nearly empty. A lot of workers simply did not want to go back to the office or had moved to another city or state and weren’t able to return. The backlash led to what has been called “The Great Resignation,” and companies looking to retain talent adjusted their plans to meet employee demands. In a JLL Future of Work survey that polled more than 1,000 corporate real estate leaders, 43 percent said they would bump up their investment in flex space over the next few years. The increase was attributed to the increase in hybrid

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