State of California looks to reduce office space requirements, citing “increased remote workforce.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for FY 2021 is seeking considerable savings over the budget his administration proposed in January prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and sharp economic contraction that’s expected to drastically reduce tax revenues.

A component of the May Revise budget proposal would examine cutting the state’s real estate costs in light of state employees increasingly working outside of centralized commute-in offices as a disease control measure during the pandemic. This signals that the Newsom administration sees the shift as one that can be permanently adopted going forward.

With an increased remote workforce, the Administration, led by the Department of General Services (DGS), will evaluate the state’s real estate portfolio to determine which agencies and departments may be able to reduce lease space. Agencies and departments may be able to reconfigure their workspace to include additional meeting rooms and hoteling space, thereby reducing their lease footprint. Reducing space will decrease not only lease costs, but also energy costs. Additionally, DGS will look for possible restacking opportunities in state-owned buildings.

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