OTTAWA – As employees continue to express their desire to work from home, owners of downtown office buildings aren’t sure what they will do with all this unused space. Also in unrelated news Canada has a huge shortfall in terms of housing supply that is on the verge of causing a financial crisis.
“Unless employers require their staff to commute for hours each day in order to do the same job they can do from the comfort of their home we’re in big financial trouble,” said Cadillac Fairview spokesperson Keith Perez from his home office. “I mean what else are we going to do with these large buildings located right next to transit that already have electrical, plumbing and elevators installed.”
“Forcing people to work here and live somewhere else seems like the only solution to me.”
The debate over working from home has been raging ever since COVID started, with employees overwhelmingly preferring it and employers concerned about a drop in productivity and the loss of office culture, which we assume refers to wearing jeans on friday and the occasional birthday sheet cake. Meanwhile a lack of affordable housing in basically every municipality has been a pressing issue for decades, and has been recognized as a crisis by parties across the political spectrum.
“Maybe we can modify our office buildings to something else. Like a restaurant, or 34 floors of Laser Tag? I don’t know I’m just spitballing here,” added Perez as he walked by numerous homeless people.
When asked whether the empty office buildings could be converted into housing however Perez scoffed. “You think you can just flip a switch and make that big a change? It would be really hard and VERY expensive.” When asked if it would be harder and/or more expensive than securing land and building brand new housing from the ground up Perez wandered away without responding.
In Ontario the Ford government has already come out in favour of converting unused office space into housing, but is requiring that the office buildings be transported to the Greenbelt first.