In the era of COVID-19, more and more companies are relocating their headquarters and satellite offices, leaving downtown city centers in favor of the suburbs. There are a number of reasons why this could be a smart move for your business, including:
1. Less Reliance on Mass Transit
Parking is typically plentiful in the suburbs, and often, it's free. That means that your employees will no longer need to rely on mass transit to get to and from work. Not only does this mean less risk of coronavirus transmission, but it also means that your workers will no longer be stressed by the potential for delays that are out of their control. To offset the eco-impact of more drivers, you can provide incentives for your team to car pool.
2. Lower Occupancy Costs
Rent rates are much lower in suburban areas as opposed to city centers in most regions, and with many large retailers shuttering due to the pandemic, you may be able to scoop up space in a suburban office at a rock bottom price. You may also find that many of your ongoing costs like janitorial services are reduced, too.
3. Easier Social Distancing
Due to lower rent rates, you'll likely be able to increase the size of your office without dramatically increasing costs in a suburban setting. The extra space can make it much easier for your team to adhere to your social distancing policies in the short term. In the long term, you can use that extra room to create collaboration areas for your team.
4. Hassle-Free Commutes
Many of your employees are likely considering suburban moves, too. An estimated 15.9 million people relocated to suburban and rural areas during the first six months of the pandemic. Many of them have yet to return to the city, while others found that they preferred the quieter settings and are eager to make their moves permanent. Moving to the suburbs can put your office closer to where your employees are now living.
5. An Overall Shift
With so many companies eyeing the suburbs and others deciding to close their in-person offices completely, once bustling city centers are likely to begin feeling like ghost towns. This could mean that many retailers, restaurants and service businesses in the area may close or modify their hours, causing even more vacancies and making downtown offices even less desirable.
6. Your Needs Have Likely Changed
If you're one of the many companies that has decided to permanently keep all or some of your team working at home, you now have new needs when it comes to your office space. Relocating gives you a chance to find an option that is in line with your shifting priorities. The companies that you do business with are also likely to come out on the other side of the pandemic with a new outlook. You can expect fewer corporations to be willing to pay for the cost of travel. This means you'll be less likely to have in-person meetings and may no longer require an impressive address for your headquarters.
7. Possible Tax Advantages
Municipalities and towns are eager to welcome new businesses to the area. Some are even willing to provide tax incentives to attract you. Even if you are unable to find a place with tax advantages, your company will likely be a big fish in a small pond in your new location. In other words, you are likely to get more support from local governments eager to keep you happy in the suburbs for years to come.