Boeing sees the advent of the “mobile executive” and most engineering, marketing, finance work no longer need be done in a corporate office complex. Time to sell the corporate real estate.
When companies no longer have a large physical infrastructure in a community, they need no longer remain there and staff can leave communities in an instant.
This is a huge deal – and it is not just Boeing. Many big companies may pull back and let staff move elsewhere. This is a bombshell on local economies.
Boeing is considering selling its big Commercial Airplanes headquarters campus at Longacres in a broad initiative to slash its costs in the downturn and take advantage of the new reality that many employees can work a lot from home.
Source: Boeing eyes sale of Commercial Airplanes HQ, considers mobile CEO and rethinks office work | The Seattle Times
I suspect this trend will be one of the largest long term outcomes of the pandemic policies that forced so many to work from home. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase just said that they think about 40% of their workforce doesn’t need to work in an office.
This will have large ramifications for office parks, especially the “office space” (versus manufacturing) sector, and the support services such as restaurants and espresso shops that depend on white collar lunch time crowds.
Conversely, work-from-home staff may get together for socializing or meetings at other local venues, including espresso shops and bakeries.
I’m so old, I remember a time when us white collar engineers had separate offices, then we went to cubicle farms. Then we switched to open warehouse spaces with desks and lots of noise making “thought work” difficult. But at least it would improve employee communication and sharing of information!
Now we’ve come full circle – moving employees offsite to offices in their own homes!
Basically, we’ve ditched all of the business theories du jour about shared spaces fostering better communications among workers.
Seems we have grown past that open cattle car office model fad now! 🙂