AmCham Real Estate Council met online on February 4, 2021 to discuss the state of the real estate office market and return to office during and after the pandemic - to go or not to go? And how much office space is necessary to keep?
Lena Popová, BNP Paribas Real Estate: According to a survey conducted by BNP Paribas Real Estate among a wide range of business sectors in May 2020, 80% of respondents said they would surrender 30-50% of their current space. In Q4 2020, 90 % of occupiers with several thousands of sq m of space re-evaluated their approach and would keep their office space, the current volume, or would reduce it by 10-15% (ie optimize).
“Management of our clients is open to the new way of working.”
Vendula Bláhová, JLL: Work is no longer a place to go. There is no longer focus on presence of people at workplace, but on the actual results they are delivering - this can be challenging for some companies. “We are heavily relying on cloud.”
According to JLL research, majority of employees find office a good place for carrying out complex tasks, and home office a better place for individual work. Companies with expiring lease use the opportunity nowadays to implement new ways of working. People expect to be provided with fixed desks, though. Therefore, management should engage employees so that the transition is smooth.
“The biggest mistake is to do nothing at this moment,” concluded Blanka Vačková, JLL.
Rebecca Grattan, Avast Software: While the staff remains globally in a work-from-home mode, Avast has used the time and the opportunity to reduce desk space, extend meeting room space, informal socializing space, creating smaller eating and drinking spots, or rethinking canteen space.
“52% of Avast staff have taken up new "work from anywhere" arrangement.”
Petr Janů, Badokh: At the Badokh law firm, as long as work was done and the client was happy, remote work was in place even before the pandemic. Our mindset has changed to a mindset that the situation “could last forever”.
“We will emphasize special arrangements, freedom and responsibility, but still will keep fixed office space. It is an important part of our business.”
Recording of the session and presentations are available to AmCham members. Contact Nelly Tomčíková at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.