Oct 12, 2023 - Business

Miami is still working from home

Data: U.S. Census; Chart: Axios
Data: U.S. Census; Chart: Axios

It's been nearly four years since the pandemic hit, and many of us are still working from home — which is having a direct impact on Miami's commercial real estate market.

Driving the news: About 15% of workers in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area said they worked from home in 2022, according to a U.S. Census survey released in Sept.

  • That is in line with the national average (15%) and down just slightly from the 16% of locals who said they worked from home in 2021.

Why it matters: Workers in America's biggest, most competitive cities aren't giving up the flexibility and savings — in both time and gas money — of working from home, Axios' Sam Baker and Simran Parwani report.

  • "Work is no longer a place," Florida commercial real estate advisor Chelsea Drinkard told Axios Tampa Bay. "Work is now a verb."

Zoom in: Some Miami employers are downsizing workplaces as they figure out return-to-office policies, according to a recent report from real estate firm Avison Young.

Between the lines: Donna Abood, principal and managing director at Avison Young's Miami office, tells Axios that most companies expected the work-from-home phenomenon to be a short-term byproduct of the pandemic.

  • "Few expected their workers to refrain from coming back to the office after the pandemic was over," Abood said.

Yes, but: The number of lease transactions remains "robust" and office developers are still bullish on the local market, per the report.

By the numbers: Miami had 331 office lease transactions in Q2, just below the five-year quarterly average of 347.

  • Miami has nearly 2 million square feet of office space under development, the report found.
  • Asking rates for local office rentals surged 10% compared to 2022.

What they're saying: Office space is still vital for many companies, Drinkard told Axios Tampa Bay.

  • Younger workers who graduated during the pandemic lack professional development skills and are seeking in-person mentorship, Drinkard said.
  • "They don't know how to have a conversation in person or shake someone's hand. Zoom doesn't directly replace popping your head in to ask your supervisor a question, grabbing lunch together, walking in and saying hi to people."

Top places to work remotely in Miami

👋 Martin here! I've been working from home since the early days of COVID-19 in 2020.

Quick take: At first, I loved the convenience of working remotely and not having to commute for up to two hours every day.

  • But I miss sharing an office with my coworkers: swapping story pitches, receiving mentorship and rushing to file on deadline.
  • Not to mention the feeling of connection to the community when you're driving to and from work everyday, observing how Miami is changing before your eyes.

One solution: Working from coffee shops can occasionally be a great way to force yourself out of the work-from-home bubble and get that face-to-face interaction.

  • Time Out Market in South Beach used to be my go-to spot but they closed in June — and I moved — so I'm in need of a new hangout.

Here are a few places, recommended by both The Infatuation and Miami New Times, that I'm going to try next:

☕️ Panther Coffee in Little Haiti: Great coffee, lots of space and a chill vibe should make this Panther Coffee location perfect for getting work done.

  • 5934 NW 2nd Ave. Open 7am–5pm Monday–Wednesday and 7am–11pm Thursday–Sunday.

📚 Books & Books in Coral Gables: Hang out in the open-air courtyard or indoor cafe, and munch on pastries between Zoom meetings.

  • This is, naturally, a great spot to read, but I'd love to try it out for a daylong shift.
  • 265 Aragon Ave. Open Monday–Tuesday 10am–8pm, Wednesday–Saturday 10am–10pm and Sunday 11am–7pm.

💳 Capital One Café in the Gables: An abundance of charging ports, coworking spaces and free WiFi are available at this bank-run coffee shop, one of 50 across the U.S.

  • You don't need to be a Capital One cardholder to work here, but members do get discounts.
  • 50 Miracle Mile. Open Monday–Tuesday and Thursday–Saturday 8am–6pm, Wednesday 8am–4pm and Saturday 9am–5pm.

📭 Have any good work-from-home recs? We'd love to hear from you! Email [email protected], and your answer could be featured in a future newsletter.


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