Virtual Offices Gain Momentum After 9/11 Tragedy

ATLANTA-The tragic events of 9/11 had a permanent effect on the workplace. So says a survey from CoreNet Global.

CoreNet Global found that 75 percent of survey respondents believe companies in general are as vigilant about security measures today as they were in the aftermath of 9/11. But the focus on risk management as an intrinsic strategic planning and management function also grew stronger.

"Business disruption planning became a common element for many corporate workplace and asset managers as a result of 9/11," says Richard Kadzis, editor of Leader magazine and vice president of Strategic Communications for CoreNet Global. "Elements of this planning include mobile work plans for employees, facility collocation policies, redundant facilities, energy back up, business continuity plans, and off-site data storage."

Notice Kadzis says mobile work plans. Mobile workers are tapping into alternative workplace strategies that include virtual offices at a much higher rate than they were 10 years ago. Indeed, the virtual office hit the mainstream in the years following the terrorist attacks on New York. In fact, many companies were thrust into virtual office mode when the tragedy struck.

"While technology advances and the 2009 recession would have facilitated the trend toward mobile work, before then, 9/11 demonstrated the value of so-called 'distributed work' in which employees are contributing toward the final product from various locations, including the home," Kadzis says. "Before 9/11, the scale of flexible workplace strategies was limited more to companies we used to call the 'leading-edge' adopters."

Some survey respondents indicated a reluctance to lease office space in high-rise buildings, yet 84 percent believed that the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site in Manhattan will be a commercial success, and more than 40 percent said that they would consider leasing space at the site.

Recent CoreNet Global Corporate Real Estate 2020 related research findings indicate that 40 percent of workers in developed economies and 20 percent of workers in emerging economies will be teleworking by the year 2020. That means the rise of virtual office space will continue rising in NYC, Atlanta, Hong Kong and beyond.


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