Recovery Readiness – Best Practices for Reopening Workplaces

Dear Clients and Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives like nothing ever before…. Its implications on the healthcare system, financial markets, and economy are far-reaching… including commercial real estate…

Over the past few weeks, I have been on the phone and video conference calls with many clients, investors, occupiers, service providers, design-builders, and experts of many facets of commercial real estate, including calls with Cushman & Wakefield’s GTA and Global leadership, SIOR, etc…

I wanted to provide you with a brief update on what I have learned so far about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, but please keep in mind that the situation is changing on a daily basis…

So let’s take a look at where we stand as of today… April 24th, 2020.

Return to Work on the Horizon?

We are all in this together. Both Landlords and Tenants share a common and unprecedented challenge with the COVID-19 crisis… All businesses deemed to be non-essential have been closed for about 4 weeks now…. With many employees being laid off or furloughed…

The situation is constantly evolving; having a significant impact on all businesses, occupiers. investors, and property owners… 

These challenges may include complete or partial loss of use, whether by governmental mandate, landlord action, or corporate directive, a loss of income, service disruptions, construction, and delivery delays, as well as increased health, safety, and sanitation costs.

Small- and medium-sized businesses have been hit especially hard… Smaller Landlords, Private Equity and Institutional Landlords alike have all received calls looking for some kind of rent relief.

And while there is still much uncertainty about the future, one thing is for sure…

Things will never be (quite) the same.

With news arising of certain regions and countries beginning to gradually relax shutdown measures and return to ‘normal,’ many of our social and business norms have changed permanently; including…

  • social distancing,
  • workplace hygiene,
  • use of virtual meetings,
  • individual desks, 
  • density monitoring,
  • digital communication channels, and more.

Hopefully, once we are all cleared to return, we can keep the positive attributes of our quarantine habits to improve the our quality of our service and the experience our clients receive.

That being said, you may wish to consider preparing protocols in advance, so that when the signals are given, you can return to work safely and smoothly.

To help with that, Cushman & Wakefield created the Recovery Readiness Task Force (RRTF)…

Which recently discussed the Recovery Readiness Protocols pertaining to the eventual return to the workplace on a virtual webinar.

The presentation helped outline some of the best thinking and practices compiled with the help of insights from partners around the globe.

The RRTF announced the release of “Recovery Readiness: A How-to Guide for Reopening your Workplace,” a comprehensive guide for real estate tenants and landlords on reopening workplaces as stay-at-home restrictions are lifted.

While we have provided a host of considerations to help plan for and manage a successful reopening of the workplace, each organization has unique needs that require a unique roadmap. 

Focusing on these six essential areas is a good place to start:

1. Prepare the Building 
2. Prepare the Workforce 
3. Control Access 
4. Create a Social Distancing Plan 
5. Reduce Touch-Points and Increase Cleaning 
6. Communicate for Confidence 

We’ll continue to provide more guidance and recommendations as new ideas and practices emerge—that’s part of our ongoing commitment to helping our clients prepare for what’s next. In the meantime, contact us to learn more about how we can help you during this crucial phase of the recovery.

So, if you are an Investor or Occupier of commercial real estate in any market, then you may wish to watch the replay and glance over the accompanying slide deck.

You can access everything – the webinar replay, webinar slide deck, and 34-page detailed guide – by clicking the link below.

For the guide, simply enter your contact info and you will receive it directly in your inbox.


…And if you require any clarification or help in implementing any of the strategies or items mentioned, do not hesitate to contact us.


This is a continuously evolving situation…

Whether you are an Investor or Occupier or Lender we understand that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your business may be significant. All parties involved have keen issues they are focused on and potentially different priorities at this moment. Proper and transparent communication is what will sustain and strengthen the relationships that will get us to the other side… Just remember…

We are all in this together…

DISCLAIMER: All information herein is for informational purposes only. This is not intended as professional legal, tax or accounting advice. We are not liable for any damages, real or perceived, as a result of you receiving or consuming this information. Please consult your attorney, accountant, or other counsel prior to making any decisions… 

As we navigate through these uncertain times, rest assured that our team is working diligently to meet the needs of our clients and colleagues. The manner in which we do business is changing constantly, but our commitment to providing the best information and advice remains the same.

Cushman & Wakefield’s leadership team and research resources are committed to providing information on the overall economic and, specifically, the commercial real estate impact due to this pandemic. Please continue to check for the latest information regarding COVID-19 and the commercial real estate industry.

We’re all in this together, so please reach out with any needs you may have during this time.

Please stay healthy and safe.

Best Regards,

Goran Brelih, SIOR

Senior Vice President, Broker
Cushman & Wakefield ULC, Brokerage.
Immediate Past President, SIOR – Central Canada Chapter

Office: 416-756-5456
Mobile: 416-458-4264


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