Workers at those companies also want the flexibility to work from home and other locations outside of the office sometimes. Other places to work may include independent coffee houses or outdoor spaces set up by their companies for work, meetings or relaxation.
Leaders at top-performing companies value in-person interaction and see the physical workplace as a means to drive performance and innovation, Gensler found.
"People are realizing how important relationships are for doing great work, not just being productive," Brink said.
While these companies will be flexible about where people work as they return from pandemic isolation, they also want to have people who work as teams to come to the office at the same time.
Some companies say they will need more space in the future to create a collaborative, engaging environment and inspire people to work in the office instead of elsewhere.
Gensler found 44% of top-performing companies, compared to only 12% of unranked companies, expect to need more real estate post-COVID — and 27% said they expect to increase their real estate footprint by more than 25%.
Landlords naturally hope that tenants will expand their offices in the years ahead, but many companies are looking for ways to reduce their rented space as their employees choose to work off-site at least some of the time.
Healthcare firm MedPoint Management, for instance, shed half of its office space last year while keeping its staff of about 800 workers intact. Half of them work mostly at home and the rest toil at home some days and in their Sherman Oaks office on others.
Office leasing in the fourth quarter demonstrated the staying power of offices even as some companies such as MedPoint find ways to pare back their space.
Overall vacancy (unleased space) remained high at 17.9% in Los Angeles County, higher than it was in the same period a year ago but slightly less than the third quarter when vacancy was 18.2%, CBRE said.