How much HQ space will disappear as hybrid work becomes a retailing thing?
Target last week announced plans to significantly downsize its corporate offices, joining a number of other retailers embracing a flexible, hybrid work model that enables some employees to continue working from home.
The discounter said it will be exiting City Center, effectively reducing its office space in downtown Minneapolis by a third. Under a new “Flex for Your Day” approach, the building’s 3,500 employees will be able to continue to work from home or relocate to other Target locations in downtown Minneapolis or to its northern campus in Brooklyn Park, according to an internal email sent out Thursday attained by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“Our headquarters will always play a central role in who we are and how we work at Target,” the memo read. “We believe in the culture, collaboration and competitive advantages of working together at our vibrant headquarters in the Twin Cities and around the world. But the reality is that ‘Flex for Your Day’ will require less office space.”
Target recently disclosed employees won’t be expected to return to downtown Minneapolis until the fall.
In February, Nordstrom, Old Navy and Ralph Lauren all announced plans for reducing office space to adapt to changing work styles. CVS Health said the company would reduce 30 percent of its corporate office space in a cost-savings initiative.
REI last year sold its new headquarters in Bellevue, WA, and in late February opened the first of several planned satellite offices around the Puget Sound area to support mobile work practices.
“We believe the future of work is much more fluid,” said Chris Putur, REI’s EVP of technology and operations, in a statement.
The hybrid model promises the flexibility, office space savings and increased employee satisfaction that comes from remote working while maintaining the benefits of collaboration, networking and culture that comes from regular face-to-face interactions.
Many offices are being reimagined to reduce individual work spaces and support more collaboration. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review warned that under a hybrid model, some employees with better access to resources and higher levels of visibility may be able to wield more power. The article also states that some individuals won’t be as skilled at navigating within a hybrid environment.
- Target to give up one-third of its office space in downtown Minneapolis – Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Target Ending Operations at City Center – Twin Cities Business
- Old Navy to shut San Francisco headquarters, move in with Gap – San Francisco Chronicle
- CVS to reduce office space by 30% – Beckers Hospital Review
- Nordstrom to vacate large block of office space in Seattle tower – Puget Sound Business Journal
- Future of Work: REI Co-op selects first satellite office; expands mobile work practices – REI
- Covid changed how we think of offices. Now companies want their spaces to work as hard as they do – CNBC
- Get back to work: More collaboration spaces considered for post-pandemic offices – Digiday
- Is remote working here for good? – RetailWire
- REI is going remote and selling its corporate headquarters – RetailWire
- Should retailers ask workers to return to their offices? – RetailWire
- Making the Hybrid Workplace Fair – Harvard Business Review
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What challenges may retailers face trying to optimize the benefits of a hybrid in-person/work-from-home model? What lessons did your company learn about experiments in remote working over the last year?