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The Post-pandemic Office Lease

Remaking the association workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has literally reshaped the office. As organizations embrace work-from-home or hybrid arrangements, it’s been harder for many to determine what kind of physical space they need, and how much of it.

An October 2021 survey by Achurch Consulting and Association Trends found that 79 percent of associations planned to go hybrid or fully remote. And while more associations have returned to the office since then, Mindy Saffer, managing principal at the commercial real estate firm Cresa, said she still sees nonprofits looking to reduce their office footprint substantially from pre-pandemic levels.

“The average trade association, pre-COVID, was occupying about 250 to 350 square feet per employee,” Saffer said. “Now, with hybrid workplaces, it’s closer to 150. They still need the public spaces for meetings and collaboration, but if employees are coming in once or twice a week, they don’t need to provide a dedicated seat for every employee. They can share spaces and people will come when needed.”

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