IT companies cut office space as other industries waffle

Clara D. Flaherty

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At least one industry is not waffling on the question of whether to cut office space: the information technology services industry.

Eleven of the 80 companies on the full digital version of the Crain’s IT Services Firms list said they have cut local office space or plan to do so specifically because more employees are working remotely these days. Those 11 companies account for 20% of the 53 firms that answered the question.

Most of them are in the top 25 on the list, which is ranked by full-time-equivalent IT employees in Northeast Ohio. One of them is Vox Mobile, at No. 6.

Vox occupied about 15,800 square feet at its Independence headquarters in March 2020. But that was a long time ago.

Today, the mobile device management services provider occupies about 2,350 square feet, said chief operating office Ron Pollock. There are about 30 desks, mostly shared work stations, but on a busy day maybe 10 to 15 of the company’s 145 local employees come in.

Pollock is among three employees who come in most days and have assigned seats, but he’s a huge remote-work proponent. He knew there was no turning back after seeing the results of an employee survey in early 2021.

“The No. 1 response in that survey was, ‘Please allow me to continue working from home,'” Pollock said, noting that his attrition level is half of what it was pre-COVID.

As Crain’s reported in April, there are prominent examples of local companies across industries cutting office space, but many are still trying to figure out what their office space needs will be in the future. Even on this list, five of the 53 companies answering the question about whether they plan to cut office space said they’re discussing it but haven’t decided.

But companies on our IT Services Firms list have given remote work a particularly strong embrace. We also asked them how many days local employees are required to come into the office. The most popular single response: zero days. It was chosen by 14 of the 54 companies answering that question, or 26%. And that doesn’t even count the three companies that chose “special occasions only,” such as Simplex-IT, No. 44 on the list.

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