US and Canada Office Fit Out Guide - 2021

JLL’s Office Fit Out Guide provides average benchmark office fit out costs across major markets as offices adapt to the new normal in office space

May 03, 2021

JLL’s 2021 Office Fit Out Guide report provides benchmark costs to build out a range of office types across major markets in the United States and Canada. The cost benchmarks are built on the data from thousands of real-world projects, supported by detailed cost estimating models, and confirmed by local experts working across the country.

As the post-pandemic reopening continues, companies are actively rolling out return to office plans while employees anticipate the return of in-person collaboration. By the end of 2021, its estimated that 80 percent of office workers will have returned to the office. But the world has evolved and accelerated in ways that will alter the future of what that looks like, with employees spending a mix of their working hours between home, the office or anywhere work happens through the adoption of a hybrid work environment. This Guide offers a proprietary cost matrix of build-out costs across U.S. and Canadian markets. The guide serves as a comprehensive data-driven tool that provides office occupiers with cost transparency across office styles, build quality levels, and geographic markets to enable them to make better and more informed real estate decisions.

What’s changing in 2021?

For occupiers considering transforming future office space with less density, increased technology implementation and a focus on sustainability and wellness, the guide also offers high-level guidance on what those future offices might entail and cost. 

  • Mobility and the new partially remote workforce: According to JLL research, 72 percent of employees want to continue working from home post-pandemic, and a majority want to do so an average of 2 days a week. As a result, future office designs will place a greater emphasis on custom collaboration and community spaces.
  • Technology-centric design to support new ways of working: A permanent shift to virtual collaboration will require a reimagination of the technology setups in many existing office designs today. A future workplace designed for a mobility-focused and partly remote workforce will include a greater share of conference rooms, huddle rooms, and flexibility collaboration spaces that allow for video calls and presentations designed for a virtual-first environment.
  • A focus on wellness and sustainability integrated throughout office design: Pandemic-specific measures will subside in tandem with the pandemic, but the increased awareness and focus on health and wellbeing in the office environment will be permanent. More considerations will be placed on sustainability certifications.

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