Two different perspectives on remote working during the pandemic in central Ohio

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With more and more Ohioans becoming eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, the next question is when will people be coming back to work in offices? Will people continue to work from home?

Home away from home. That’s how Marcy Fleisher of Team Fleisher Communications described her former downtown Columbus office.

“One month stretched into two months, to three to four months and we got until about August, and we were all still working from home,” she said talking about business during the pandemic.

The decision to move fully remote in August was a tough one, but Fleisher said it’s possible for her small boutique firm.

“We have found we can work every bit as effectively from our own homes — from the coffee shop down the street or if we have to go out of town because things come up, we can work just as effectively from any place,” she said.

Ohioans 16 and older will soon be able to sign up for the coronavirus vaccine, just in time for spring.

From a real estate point of view, Andrew Weeks with VanTrust Real Estate said his properties are looking at returning people to office spaces as early as April.

“Across our portfolio, we have not had one office tenant say they’re not going to come back to the office,” Weeks said. “We have not had one office tenant stop paying rent or want to downsize or anything like that.”

Weeks says business is doing well and that VanTrust’s newest venture, the Pointe at Polaris, is leasing to businesses and is at 90 percent occupancy.

It’s a combo of retail, offices, and apartments, what VanTrust is calling a live, work, play-style property.

“Businesses continue to tell us they like to be in those types of projects, and I think you’ll see more of those projects,” Weeks said. “That’s a trend that really was started before the pandemic and I think it’s only going to continue.”

Fleisher said she feels comfortable meeting clients where they are working, adding the pandemic has made her team more flexible.

“Does that mean we’ll never go back into physical space? Never say never, it’s definitely possible,” she said.

Weeks estimates that in the VanTrust portfolio, offices could potentially be nearly full by Labor Day.

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