Author Archives: DitchTheSpace

COVID-19 & The Future of American Office Spaces

Remote Work, Satellite Offices and The Return of The Cubicle: Corporate America Explores the Shape of the Pandemic Office


Key Highlights:

  • Office spaces emerge as new COVID-19 battleground, as the U.S. opens up for business
  • Work from home is here to stay, as companies shift into long-term remote operations
  • Satellite and suburban offices to see surge in demand, as companies look to secure safe office space for workers
  • Vacancy rates to escalate, with subleasing and assigning a strong solution for managing impact

As countries around the world upended decades-long trends and ways of living and working as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, economies strained and buckled. Retail had already been struggling between the pull of online shoppers and companies’ commitment to brick-and-mortar despite past years’ struggles for physical stores. Lately, as much of the Global North, then South, went into lockdown, a strong digital presence paired with an ability to pivot on distribution has been essential for the sector to stay afloat.

Hospitality has essentially ground to a halt, with 39.3% of workers unemployed in the U.S. alone. Industrial has not only been hit hard by lockdown measures and the slowdown in economic activity, but pushed to its limits, as delicate global supply chains were disrupted at never-before-seen levels.

Office spaces, however, have been mostly overlooked in the general conversation, as office workers were essentially shifted into telecommuting overnight. But as lockdown measures are beginning to ease and business reopen, office spaces are emerging as a new battleground both on the economic front —due to widespread layoffs and shuttered businesses — as well as on the personal safety front.

Personal safety is especially important, as the decade-long push towards open office designs has reduced the space allocated per employee by 8.3% between 2009 and 2018 alone. In markets like Seattle and Washington, D.C., the space per employee has dropped to 135 square feet, making the required six-foot distancing difficult to implement.

Office to Incorporate Coworking Trends

So, how will office space evolve in the upcoming months and years, and what will the new normal look like, as people adapt to living with new habits and restrictions? The key seems to be merging traditional office trends with coworking influences into a new hybrid form of office space, centered on flexibility and personal safety.

Already in late March, 74% of CFOs were planning to move at least 5% of their on-site workforce to permanent work-from-home positions. A quarter of CFOs said they will shift 10% of their employees into permanently remote positions, while 17% were considering moving as much as 20% of their workers into permanent home office arrangements. And positive attitudes towards remote work have only strengthened since, a trend that will have serious implications for the U.S. office market, with rising vacancy rates a real concern.

“Many corporations are now rethinking their office space footprint needs going forward, as they realize that certain percentages of their employees can work from home. Taking into account that major firms are now considering relocating from Manhattan to the suburban office spaces, subleasing is the most sensible option to get rid of excess space,” predicts DitchTheSpace CEO Jack Sitt.

Long-Term Remote Work Safest Bet for Most Companies

While the push for flexible work hours and telecommuting has been on a steady rise, especially as Millennials took over the employment market, most companies have been reticent to fully embrace it. However, as the pandemic took hold, essentially every employee who could work from home has been shifted into telecommuting. 62% of U.S. employees are now working from home and companies, from tech to banking, are integrating work-from-home policies into their long-term business plans.

As much of the world starts opening up, the threat of COVID-19 is as real as ever. Our understanding of the disease has evolved, but the new shape of everyday life remains hazy. The massive lockdowns meant to flatten the curve were only phase one — dubbed “the hammer” by Thomas Pueyo, known for making “flattening the curve” go viral. So, what follows the hammer, a move that quashes case and transmission rates by radical lockdowns and social distancing measures?

It’s “the dance”, a strategy based on alternating periods of easing and tightening of safety measures, successfully employed by regions that were hit early on, like South Korea and Hong Kong. It is this critical dance period that will most define the future of the office sector, as it will be a necessary reality until a cure or vaccine are discovered and deployed.

Most notably, the uncertainty and fluid nature of the dance has made much of corporate America decide it is safest to carry on working from home, in a complete 180-degree shift from previous attitudes. And it’s not just startups and tech giants who plan on continuing with overwhelmingly home office policies. While much of retail spending went down as the U.S. shut down, expenditure on equipment and software meant to facilitate working from home went up.

Work from Home Is Here To Stay

The investment already committed to work from home solutions and that to follow in the upcoming months, paired with the growing understanding of the connection between air flow and transmission rates, mean that offices and their notoriously divisive HVAC policies are under increasing scrutiny.

Simply put, workers cannot be packed safely into the same cramped offices as before, especially considering the prevalence of open office designs throughout corporate America (and beyond). Add to this the sweeping changes recommended by the new CDC guidelines, and the safest pandemic office seems to look more and more like everyone’s living room.

But even as much of the white-collar workforce can and plans to remain at home, some office workers will inevitably want and need to return to working from traditional offices. Limitations caused by lower-performance equipment, cramped or noisy living arrangements, higher risk tolerance, collaboration-intensive projects and the simple, yet overpowering human need for socializing will all contribute to push some workers into returning to the office.

Safety of Downtown Offices Under Scrutiny

Companies might start considering downsizing office footprints to cut costs under pressing economic conditions. But the math is more complicated than multiplying current footprint per capita by the number of employees remaining in work from home mode and giving that space up, due to the necessity of social distancing.

Whether and to what exact extent companies might downsize office space is also very much dependent on how long the wait for vaccines and treatments will be. Office workers also have to contend with risks beyond those of the office itself, with some of the most significant ones stemming from the ever-growing urban sprawl of most large metro areas.

While companies may ensure excellent screening and safety standards in the workplace, the cramped and complex commutes most office workers in large urban centers have to struggle with, paired with mobility choke points —elevators, escalators, stairs, and entry/exit points — bring another layer of risk to the traditional urban core office building to which workers flock from all over the city and suburbia beyond.

Although Millennials have moved to revitalized downtowns and packed urban living arrangements, suburban living and bedroom communities remain central to U.S. urban design. And it is this sprawling design paired with dense urban clusters that heighten the threat and likelihood of spread through the mobility funnel of commuting even in car-centric America.

The Return of The Cubicle

A niche trend re-emerging in the past years — partially as a result of gentrification, partially as result of rapidly increasing urban sprawl and density — may hold the key to a continued office culture: suburban office spaces. Specifically, suburban office spaces operating as satellite offices.

While implementing changes like staggered office hours, retrofitting desks with cubicle walls or Plexiglas, aggressive signage and PPE requirements, temperature checks and single-lane movement corridors can significantly increase safety by creating six square feet of office space per employee, large, commercial-district office spaces present particular challenges in limiting spread risk.

Medical space trends — such as increased automation for doors, elevators, bathroom fixtures etc., more aggressive adoption of paperless solutions, or retrofitting with materials that decrease contamination rates (such as copper) — will aggressively bleed into office design in the future. But centralized office spaces can only go so far in terms of contagion safety. However, smaller, less dense spaces bridge the gap between home offices and the downtown address.

The Case for Satellite & Suburban Offices

Not only do suburban satellite offices decrease risk by exponentially cutting potential contacts within the work environment, but they also allow for spreading out the workforce geographically in a specific urban area, resulting in shorter, less complex commutes, thus significantly decreasing the contamination risk of crowded public transport or elevators.

Additionally, they allow better access to professional office spaces as white-collar workforces, mostly clustered in large metropolitan areas, prepare for scaled easing and tightening of lockdowns in different cities, suburbs and communities. Especially as large metros like New York see areas outside the densely packed urban cluster open up well before the city itself.

New York specifically exemplifies the need for suburban satellite offices with its large office workforce and hyper-dense urban landscape. Hit hard by the pandemic, the State of New York is now slowly and carefully opening up again. But strict conditions for opening up mean that vertical and dense NYC will enter phase one of reopening only on June 8, while five regions of the state have already entered phase two on May 29.

Corporate giants have taken notice and are already searching for move-in-ready suburban offices outside the core of NYC, looking as far as Westchester and New Jersey.

The Coworking Sublease

While some companies are already scouting the market for move-in-ready suburban offices and others prepare to take the leap, it is becoming increasingly clear that this segment of office assets will see the highest interest in the near future. Not only do they allow easier access for workers but are also cheaper than downtown locations.

Coupled with the growing trend of live-work-play neighborhoods, suburban offices will only attract more attention, especially as some specialists warn that social distancing measures will be necessary into 2022.

But with limited suburban space, especially move-in-ready space, companies may need to think outside the box. Some may adopt the wheel and spoke model, giving up part of existing centralized space and spreading workers among multiple urban satellite offices. This setup can also aid in limiting contacts and pre-empting potential future micro-lockdowns affecting specific neighborhoods or communities.

Others may simply decide, especially in light of the CDC’s sweeping new guidelines for office buildings, that transitioning into long-term remote work policies is simply easier, safer and more cost-effective, potentially pushing them into giving up most or even all of their office footprints.

Additionally, with the continued economic fallout of the pandemic, some businesses will have to shutter completely. According to, “New York City could see office rents declining 25% and office vacancies reaching 20%, as NYC is now the center of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

However, considering the extended time frames usually covered by commercial lease terms, navigating the process of getting out of an office space or even just part of it can be a complex and costly undertaking. However, it need not be so when agile technological solutions like sublease ILSs exist.

Subleasing Emerges as Possible Solution

Subleasing is not a new process. Out of Manhattan’s 45 million square-foot Q1 office vacancy, nearly 25% represents sublease vacancy. In the case of San Francisco, sublease vacancies accounted for 32% of the total available office space at the start of 2020. Moreover, as the popularity of coworking spaces has grown, so has the trend of companies securing large coworking spaces for exclusive use, essentially going against the communal, idea-exchange grain of coworking.

“The social distancing era is likely to reduce the popularity of coworking spaces and so jumping into subleases will be the trend for tenants that need a private furnished space at attractive rent levels,” offered DitchTheSpace’s Jack Sitt. This trend will surely surge in the upcoming months as companies rush to diversify office footprints and locations.

As more of the U.S. returns to work while the health crisis continues, the professional environment office workers will discover will be very different from the one they left in March. The upcoming period will continue to test companies and the wider population alike, but agility, adaptability and flexibility will allow some companies to not only survive but thrive.

While office workers may be nostalgic for watercooler debates, there is also a growing, wider conversation on the imperfect nature of the pre-pandemic office. So, companies willing to embrace innovation and listen to their workers’ needs will emerge into the post-pandemic economy not only more productive and efficient, but also happier and more cohesive.

About DitchTheSpace

Real estate internet listing service seeks to provide value on both sides of the real estate deals, offering an extended suite of solutions for companies needing to unload or sublease excess commercial space, real estate professionals looking to boot leads, as well as for everyday people looking for short-term rentals. makes it easy to find a new space or ditch your current one.

Ditch The Space: Reinventing The Exchange of Leases

      Welcome to Ditch the Space Blog. We wanted to give you a bit of a background as to who we are and why we do what we do. Enjoy!

Have you ever thought to ditch your space? Have you ever wanted to move and feared one of these three major headaches: Trying to get out of a lease contract, trying to find a tenant to unload your sublet to, or even the hassle of finding a new space? We know you have, because we have. This is the reason why we have created the company Ditch The Space.

Ditch the space in an online marketplace utilizing technology to reinvent the way people come together to exchange leases. In today’s ever rapidly changing society there are numerous reasons why one needs to ditch their space. Ditch the space is where ditchers and gainers come together to achieve this through the form of sublet or lease assignment in a fast, free, and easy way!!

Ditch the Space is founded on the principle that “Their Ditch is Your Gain” Our company brings in all types of ditchers and gainers, if you head on over to our site you will see all kinds of listings. The listings range from commercial to residential, with lease opportunities that vary from one month to two years.

Now Ditch the space is not just any site. We are different in the way that we encourage our ditchers to offer incentives, which makes the gaining process that much more enticing. Currently the incentives vary from a furnished apartment to the first months rent completely free. Can you say Bargain?

Today Ditch the space finds itself successfully grounded in the New York real-estate market, with a determination to expand to your city!! But enough about us!

We want to hear from you! We want to know how you currently find a new space or how you have ditched your place in the past?

Thank you for joining us for our first blog post! Continue to follow us so that we can share our knowledge, experiences, and ditches with you. While you’re waiting for our next post why don’t you head on over to our search section to check out all the amazing ditches currently available and just waiting for you! Enjoy!!

Blog Pic             blog post image

All The Best,


via Flickr, © Cyndy Sims Parr

Sublet Your Furnished Space This Summer and Make Extra $$

Summer is a great time to suspend your day-to-day reality in favor of a little more adventure. Many people take the summer season to travel, study, or work in another state or country. If you’re one of these people, you might want to sublet your apartment.

Your mundane is someone else’s adventure, so while New Yorkers like you might be shuffling off to a teaching assignment in Beijing or a writing program in Dublin, or even just going back to the West Coast on break from school, plenty of people around the country- and world!- are packing their bags for a summer adventure in New York City. If you’re in school, you may also find that many of your fellow students are looking for local summer housing.

Of course collecting rent and having your apartment occupied is a no-brainer, but what about dealing with all of your furniture? Leave it and you can rent that out too! Renting your furniture as part of the sublet deal is an easy and convenient way to make a little extra money while you’re away for the summer, and furnished spaces are an attractive option for new or temporary New Yorkers.

We love furnished listings at It’s free to list your space, and our prospective tenants are qualified, responsible folks– exactly the sort of people you want in your apartment.

Is that enough incentive to overcome your lingering doubts about what to do this summer? Go on, get out there! Rent your place furnished, and you might even recoup the cost of your plane tickets!

Did the groundhog see his shadow?

After months of frigid temperatures, warmer weather is around the corner! Every big apple resident knows the struggles associated with a weekend getaway during the warm weather holidays. Plan early and save money by renting a furnished sublet for the summer!

Not sure where to start? Long Island or New Jersey?Hamptons

You can hop on the jitney, take the LIRR, or carpool your way to The Hamptons for a classic New York style summer! You will find both family friendly beaches AND parties that last all night long! Seen above, a private beach in Southampton, Long Island.

Beach lovers west of the Hudson typically shoot for Atlantic City or Seaside Heights, but the highly priced hotels and rentals (thank you Snooki & the producers of Jersey Shore) are making other NJ shore neighborhoods more attractive! The Jersey shore in general boasts an abundance of residential neighborhoods within walking distance to the beach. You are sure to stumble upon a fireside soiree in places like Belmar and Point Pleasant.

If you have a vacation home for rent in New York or New Jersey, find qualified tenants by listing with Ditch The Space. Start by creating an account here!

Say goodbye to moving trucks!

Ditch The Space loves helping people find great rentals, but like anyone in New York City, we dread the “will you help me move” phone call. Whether in your 2 door pick up truck or a 16′ box truck (which you paid $240 dollars to borrow for 4 hours), moving furniture can be exhausting, time consuming, and expensive!

fully furnished

NYC is notorious for convenient perks not found anywhere else. Consider Ditch The Space an added perk. We exclusively encourage furnished listings. If you have ever helped a friend move, you understand the convenience of renting a furnished space.

Finding & renting a place in general can be time consuming but nothing tops the stress of MOVE IN DAY! The movers scratched your favorite painting, your mom dropped the box with your favorite wine glasses, you may have even forgotten to take your flat screen off the wall in the midst of all the excitement! To avoid the intensity of moving all your belongings, why not consider renting a furnished space?

Midtown South

fully furnished midtown

Upper West Side

UWS fully furnished

Gentrification at the speed of light!

ManhattanTen years ago you might have noted Harlem for abandoned properties and minimal recreation. While remaining a cultural melting pot, Harlem is now being recognized for it’s complete revival. Starting out with many new luxury buildings being rented at affordable prices. The gentrification of such a lovable neighborhood is very exciting for everyone involved. Local restaurants and shops are adapting to the massive influx of middle to upper class neighbors. There are also rumors of a Hudson River ferry terminal project to be completed within the next three years! Major construction and new development has impacted Harlem’s reputation for the better.

Harlem is a true neighborhood; equipped with many parks, easy access to public transportation, and multiple housing options that offer something for everyone. Abundant retail space and empty store fronts are beginning to fill. The Second Avenue Subway construction will only add to the allure of East Harlem with travel times to and from midtown anticipated to be less than 20 minutes during rush hour.

If you are considering any neighborhood in the Harlem area, whether The Heights or southeast Harlem (AKA Yorkville AKA Carnegie Hill AKA Above The Park), be realistic! What is most important to you? Transportation, grocery stores, parks? Or do you frequent bars and restaurants? However lacking nightlife and parking garages, Harlem is a sound choice. Especially if you need more square footage than midtown!

Renovated Yorkville One Bedroom // Large Hudson Heights Studio

Retail Therapy

Industry events in New York City often last for only a few weeks, or a short period of time. For example, this week in New York we are hosting Fashion Week. Flights coming in from Paris and Italy actually cause “air traffic” every year during NYFW. Regardless of industry, special projects and events bring business to New York City every single day. Commercial real estate professionals have noticed the need for short term space, and opposite a traditional lease, the idea of a sublease is going viral and becoming a very likable, convenient arrangement. For many retailers this is a smart business choice. To prepare for an event such as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, or a globally recognized expo at the Hyatt, retailers need creative space. Ditch The Space holds listings for commercial spaces, encourages postings for sublets, and acknowledges the urgency of business in New York City. If you are looking to list a retail space, has designed DitchPro specifically for you. Our monthly subscription option includes premium features; giving you the freedom to list without limits or contracts. Qualified renters have the ability to contact you directly when you list with DTS.

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Retailers and Artists – search Ditch The Space’s commercial listings for your next work space!

Real Estate professionals – list executive suites, offices, restaurants, retail space, commercial properties, store fronts, show rooms, galleries, and lofts. Ditch The Space is working to connect you to serious inquirers. Our services are user friendly and amazingly affordable.

For questions, concerns or comments, contact [email protected]

No post code envy

edisonNew York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. New to New York? This might disturb you at first, especially when your friends move to Atlanta and give you the details on their monthly budget, which somehow allows them to spend less than $1500 per month in rent. No joke! This really happens in the South. Alas, there is no place on Earth like this concrete jungle, perfectly nestled along the Hudson River. To call New York City your home is an honor, privilege, and quite the soft spot of many Generation X professionals moving around the East Coast in search of affordable housing.

In Manhattan right now, rental prices are at all time highs, and some sources say they have hit a ceiling. Prices to buy are also at all time highs but are expected to continue to climb due to foreign demand. So what’s so great about buying a home? The benefit to home ownership is clearly financial security. However, if one can obtain financial security through other means; such as growing one’s business, then that individual might not be so foolish after all for renting! Let’s explore the benefits of renting an apartment in New York City!

  • Simple transactions; a security deposit equal to one months rent is a small sum of money compared to a 20% down payment on a house for sale.
  • Help! There is usually a maintenance man or building “super” on call 24/7 for emergencies. This man is not your husband or father, and he will gladly come and fix your heat at 1AM during a devilish East coast polar vortex.
  • You are almost never responsible for repairing or replacing appliances as needed.
  • Many private homes allow subletting, perfect for someone that hasn’t planted roots just yet. Ditch The Space has a slew of available and affordable spaces you can rent short and long term.
  • There is no lawn to mow, or driveway to plow in NYC! Which is a beautiful thing, especially if you’re coming from the suburbs.
  • At Ditch The Space, we encourage listing rentals with incentives. Incentives can be anything from nice furniture and flat screen TV’s, to actual discounts on the rent payment or security deposit!
  • Getting in and out of lease agreements is easier than selling a house. If you are not concrete on a location to spend the next 30 years, don’t waste your time and money.

What’s interesting is that the annual price to rent an apartment in Manhattan in many cases equals the landlord’s annual cost just to maintain the taxes and common charges on the apartment.

If you are a smart shopper, you should absolutely consider renting a sublet!

“Unique New York, you need New York!”

End of January Featured Listing

This recently renovated one bedroom, one bathroom boasts stainless steel appliances, an oven, fridge, dishwasher, microwave, AND a washer and dryer IN THE UNIT!? Very hard to find in NYC! New wood cabinets, recessed lighting in living room, red brick wall on one side of the living room, new hardwood floors across entire apartment, newly tiled floor in the bathroom, the perfect balcony, window AC unit, and conveniently cable/internet ready!


Neighborhood: Gramercy Park, Monthly Rent: $2850.00

Property Type: Apartment

Listing Type: Assignment

Months Left: 5

Pets Allowed: Yes

This apartment is 3 blocks from the 6 train, 1/2 a block from the grocery store and has New York City’s most quiet neighbors! Located on 4th floor.


“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”

Bill Murray, Madonna, Tyra Banks, David Bowie, Mary J. Blige, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Drew Barrymore reside in the big apple. Why? Well for one, you can travel to any city in the world from our international airports. Not to mention the always “unimpressed” demeanor New Yorkers have built a reputation for. President Obama lived here in the 1980′s. As a city, we are famous too! NYC welcomes the A-list, sans asking for autographs.

Curbed NY published a story about four weeks ago quoting the median monthly rent in Manhattan at $3,100. As vacancy rates climb to historical statistics, it is no surprise that at the same time, celebrities are not affected or leaving their million dollar flats. We are almost into February and Manhattan rent is now reported to be stable. Brooklyn on the other hand continues to report rising prices on both commercial, and residential properties. Is the high price tag the only allure for stars?

Aside from five star entertainment, restaurants, and shopping; many stars live and work in our favorite neighborhoods!

On the East Side you might see; Samuel L. Jackson, Ricky Martin, and Uma Thurman

The West; Tiny Fey, Matt Damon, Carmelo Anthony and Calvin Klein

Celebrity spotting is a bit of sport on the streets of New York. While I do not suggest studying the face of every 5’10″ blonde hoping that she is Kate Moss, look around! Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn are notorious for catching superstars acting like everyday people. Anne Hathaway was recently spotted buying her vitamins at Bridge Apothecary on Jay Street in Brooklyn. Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys & Swizz Beats, Beyonce & Jay Z, Tommy Hilfiger, and Lady Gaga are all proud homeowners in the most sought after neighborhoods of TriBeCa and Chelsea. Brooklyn gets an honorable mention, Boardwalk Empire’s Steve Buscemi lives in Park Slope.

Ditch The Space recommends, My City, My New York written by Jeryl Brunner, she is a lifelong New Yorker and a journalist who specializes in celebrities and lifestyle. A great read for less than $20 on Amazon.