As we navigate the road of life, leaving the detritus of 2020 in the rearview mirror, it’s obvious that what lies ahead is not exactly a pristine path. The last 365 days have left their mark, and the road in front of us is marred with perilous economic potholes that will inevitably take months — or longer — to repair. Despite some bumps, however, smoother sailing is on the horizon.

More real estate is coming online across the Eastside — particularly in the dense Bellevue Central Business District — and coronavirus vaccines are being distributed, which may spur employers to bring workers back to the office in mid-to late-2021. Additionally, 2020 has seen more new businesses spring up in Washington — almost 1,600 — than any other year on record. This marks a growth of more than 21 percent year-over-year.

“Recovery will depend on widespread adoption of the COVID-19 vaccine,” wrote Colliers International researchers in the firm’s year-end office space report. “Once workers are safe to return to the office, it remains to be seen how companies will handle flexible workplace strategies. Some will allow employees to work from home permanently, but this will not be the norm. Most employees and employers want to return to the office, although perhaps not five days per week. Occupancy will vary by industry and company.”

Colliers shed light on the state of these regional trends and others in its November reports (the most recent data available at press time) and prognosticated about where the market will head in the next year and beyond.