Nadir Settles is a managing director and New York regional head at Nuveen Real Estate, a real estate investment management firm.
When do you think a full-scale return to the office will take place?
Nuveen plans to reopen offices more broadly to associates beginning in January 2022. This remains dependent on numerous variables around the virus and inoculation rates in our markets. We are planning to offer a limited voluntary return to the office in multiple waves after Labor Day in order to test and learn about our approach.
Upon full office reopening, Nuveen will implement a hybrid model for the vast majority of our associates, focused on reestablishing the value of in-person interaction and collaboration, balanced with the flexibility of regular remote work consistent with business, client, and personal needs.
What will that return look like?
We are considering several factors, including the latest scientific facts. This includes advice from health care professionals, business and local requirements, associates’ views, and ensuring the appropriate safety protocols and training are in place in our offices. We’ve also gathered extensive input from our employees—and that feedback, combined with business needs and industry expertise and best practices, is influencing our space design plans.
As part of these efforts, we are transforming some of our large offices into more modern, engaging spaces that will better enable the success of our company and ensure the health, safety and well-being of our employees.
In addition, we are redesigning our Nuveen Real Estate-owned and operated properties to be more connected, so Nuveen’s own employees and employees of our tenants have access to amenities in multiple buildings. Using a mobile app, for example, both Nuveen employees and tenant employees can indicate whether they want to use the amenities in Nuveen portfolio owned-properties. Amenity sharing could range from scheduling lunch delivery from restaurants located in the Nuveen buildings to attending cross-building events hosted by Nuveen. Our goal is to create a sense of community and help both employees and those of our tenants appreciate working in an office setting again. We believe blending office with hotel-like amenities will keep our employees and tenants returning to the office engaged and happy.