Navigating the Return to Office
Law Firms Post-Pandemic
While many business sectors seemingly settled into remote work models for the long term, three years removed from the height of the pandemic, there’s increasing evidence the pendulum is shifting to favor a much broader return to office (RTO) than previously expected. Last month, Resume Builder released a report indicating a staggering 90% of businesses will return to their offices by 2024. It’s easy to understand why, considering 72% of the 1,000 companies polled confirmed that ongoing RTO efforts have already led to increased revenue. Updated policies from major firms point to the urgency of the matter: Google amended its hybrid model earlier this summer to note in-office attendance will be tracked via badge use and accounted into performance reviews; Goldman Sachs was more straightforward when it ended “Summer Fridays” last month and re-committed to five days a week in office.
It’s important to look at prevailing numbers with some historical context. Findings released in August by Revelio Labs and Lightcast showed that while fully remote opportunities have climbed nationwide to 6.9M, some 4.0M of those jobs have existed for more than twenty years. That increase has occurred over two decades of technological innovation; it isn’t a direct indictment of the post-pandemic office market. The more relevant metric from the same study is the tripling of hybrid opportunities from the onset in 2019 to the height of the pandemic — big numbers, but all of these jobs still rely on the office to facilitate productivity.
An experienced tenant representative is well positioned to assist in reassessing your space needs or rightsizing your footprint to make the most of your office. We focus our strategy on the specific operational and financial objectives of our clients to quantify real estate requirements, determine the positives and negatives of available options, and analyze the financial implications involved. To hear Managing Partner Chris Pickett discuss how Bradford Allen helped consolidate offices for Chicago-based law firm Lindsay, Pickett & Postel, watch our client success story. Achieve impactful results for your business and consider contacting our experienced brokers today.
PRINCIPAL & PRESIDENT, CHICAGO REGION
BEN AZULAYSince joining Bradford Allen as an associate in 2004, Ben has made significant contributions to the firm. In 2015, Ben became a Principal due to his hard work, dedication, and vested interest in the direction of the company. While he specializes in representing office tenants in Chicagoland and nationwide, Ben has also had great success representing landlords in a variety of real estate transactions. His expertise in assisting commercial office clients with operational, qualitative, and financial structuring allows Ben to easily identify problem areas and craft smart, client-specific real estate solutions. Ben handles various projects across the real estate spectrum, enabling him to cultivate a multi-faceted knowledge of the industry. A few of his successful transactions include assisting GrubHub in completing a substantial expansion, in which they nearly doubled the size of their office space; securing over forty office spaces across the country for MedSpeed; and representing Foley and Mansfield, a national law firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while he assisted in the expansion and renewal of their existing office space in Chicago. Ben works with clients across industries including, but not limited to, marketing and advertising, law, healthcare, and technology. As a member of the leadership team, Ben also plays an integral role in the strategic direction of Bradford Allen. He is a regular contributor to the firm’s research and recruiting efforts, and he assumes an influential role in mentoring new brokers along with overseeing his own team. Ben lives in Lincoln Park with his wife and four children where he enjoys staying active by biking and running. He’s an active supporter of Ramah Wisconsin and American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) and is an avid fan of the Chicago Bears.
As the Managing Director of the tenant representation practice at Bradford Allen, Justin is dedicated to helping businesses achieve their real estate goals. His main focus is on building long-lasting advisory relationships. With a deep understanding of Chicago’s office market, he takes a step-by-step approach to make sure his clients have all the information they need to make informed decisions.
Since coming on board with Bradford Allen in 2011, Justin has worked with a variety of organizations across many industries. Some of his standout achievements include assisting a law firm with a challenging sublease and relocation in the post-pandemic era, guiding a 40-member real estate consultancy to a new office, and securing a spacious new headquarters for a rapidly expanding logistics company.
By applying his diverse business experience, Justin helps clients quickly identify potential issues and formulate effective strategies. He is committed to finding solutions for complex real estate deals through his creativity, cost-saving strategic planning, and his ability to anticipate a client’s operational needs.
Originally from just outside St. Louis, Justin now calls Chicago’s Uptown his home. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling with his family, biking along Chicago’s scenic lakefront, and spending quality time with his two lively daughters.
Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Illinois
NATHAN J. MEISNER
Nathan joined Bradford Allen in 2019, primarily focusing on helping companies find office space to fit their needs by assisting in all facets of the leasing process. His responsibilities include finding office requirements and negotiating new leases, renewals, and extensions. Nathan also maintains current market knowledge and relationships with owners, which helps him create the best options for his clients.
Prior to Bradford Allen, Nathan began his commercial real estate career with summer internships at Cushman & Wakefield and Zeller Realty Group. A graduate of Ohio University in real estate and financial management, Nathan became an office tenant rep broker at Monarch Realty, before joining Miller Chicago Real Estate.
A Cincinnati native, Nathan is the middle child of six siblings and a longtime fan of all Cincinnati sports – Bengals, Reds, and FC Cincinnati. He now lives in Wicker Park and spends his free time watching or playing sports, fishing, camping, hiking, and finding new spots to dine and drink in the city.
Lauryn joined Bradford Allen in 2023 as an associate in the Chicago office. She focuses on all aspects of the leasing process with the goal of finding the ideal office space to fit her client’s specific needs. Lauryn’s main responsibilities include market reconnaissance, business development, tenant outreach, and building and maintaining relationships with clients.
Previously, Lauryn spent two years at Cushman & Wakefield where she performed lease renewals, market analysis, and negotiations. She also specialized ADA requirements and bringing spaces to compliance. Lauryn graduated from University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business, majoring in finance with an emphasis in real estate.
Lauryn enjoys staying active, spending time outdoors, and being with friends and family. She has recently developed a knack for cooking as well. Being from St. Louis, Lauryn is a Cardinals fan and, since the Rams left, a KC Chiefs fan.