In the early stages of the Covid pandemic, commercial real estate industry experts predicted that businesses would increasingly move toward a hub-and-spoke office model.
Many employees had moved away from central office locations—large urban hubs—so they reasoned that companies would shrink their hubs and grow their spokes. It may not be working out that way, though, if new research by JLL holds up.
According to JLL analysis, investment is increasingly moving back to the hub, with less going into the spokes. Employees seem to be happy with working at home or going to flex workspaces. So, companies are questioning the role of their central offices, and looking at how they can make it worthwhile to commute to the central office. That seems to be translating into upgrades for hub offices to accommodate collaboration and meetings—the activities in which hubs excel.
Companies headquartered in large metro areas that have clusters of employees living in outlying areas may still embrace the hub-and-spoke model, according to JLL.