As featured on tennesseelookout.com
Decode Health had been subleasing office space in Cummins Station in Nashville when Covid-19 forced the team home in March. The company, which provides predictive disease insights to national laboratories, moved its more sophisticated equipment to its employees’ homes, and increasingly relied on Slack to discuss operations. December was the last month they paid rent there.
“We are not going back,” said Decode Health founder Julia Polk. “Our team has adapted really well to work from home.”
Businesses across Middle Tennessee, from large corporations to small startups, are rethinking their day-to-day workplace policies and office design and are making long-term adjustments that, for many, will last beyond the pandemic. The changes being considered and implemented have broad implications for recruiting, daily operations and the region’s commercial real estate.
“Working from home and having flexible work hours and work place is a new way of life. It is definitely here to stay,” Stephen Kulinski, managing director for CBRE’s Nashville office, said. “I don’t think things are ever going to go back to normal.”
Office vacancy rates in Nashville climbed to more than 10 percent in the third quarter of 2020, up from 7.3 percent in 2019, according to a report from Colliers International. Downtown, the vacancy rate nearly doubled to 10.4%.