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Prime Therapeutics will only use its new Eagan headquarters as a collboration space when employees return. Photo: Prime Therapeutics

Prime Therapeutics has unveiled a post-COVID-19 strategy for how its employees will work in the future. It could be a sign that big corporations won't need nearly as much office space as they did before.

Driving the news: The company said late last week it will use a "hub and home" hybrid model in which employees will use their home offices for individual work and then go into the company's Eagan headquarters for collaboration and socialization.

State of play: Prime Therapeutics, a pharmacy benefits manager, employs around 2,200 people in the Twin Cities. It recently finished a 400,000 square foot office in Eagan in 2018 and 2019.

Context: Last summer the company polled its employees and found that 93% of them were OK or better working from home, but that two-thirds wanted to also spend time at the office.

What's new: Under the hub and home strategy, most local employees will continue working from home 50% to 65% of the time, with their teams meeting in the office on certain days of the week or month.

  • There will be no more assigned desks at the building, Kim Gibson, assistant vice president of real estate and facilities, told Nick. Instead, rooms will have movable furniture so different teams can reconfigure the space.
  • "What we're learning is that employees really want to do most of their focus work at home and when they come into the office they want to meet with their teams," Gibson said. "So having dedicated stations and offices really doesn't serve that kind of a model in the future."

The bigger picture: With employees only coming in about a third of the time, Prime Therapeutics only needs about two-thirds of the office space it had required previously.

  • The company has decided not to renew its lease for 180,000 square feet at Bloomington's Normandale Lake Office Park, where about 700 employees had worked.

The bottom line: A hybrid model with less need for space is not a great sign for a Twin Cities office market that already had a 20% vacancy rate.

  • If other companies follow a similar model — and many have said they're switching to a hybrid model — there could be more even more vacancies as leases expire.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.

Democrats open to user fees for infrastructure deal

President Biden sits Thursday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) as they discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Senate Democrats are open to paying for a compromise infrastructure package by imposing user fees, including increasing the gas tax and raising money from electric car drivers through a vehicle-miles-traveled charge.

Why it matters: By inching toward the Republican position on pay-fors, some Democrats are bucking President Biden's push to offset his proposed $2.3 trillion plan by focusing only on raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.