The size of companies shapes the way in which they plan to resume work in office buildings, commented key speakers during the post-COVID-19 workplace strategies panel of CEE Property Forum 2021, Property Forum's first real-life event back in Vienna since 2019 which was attended by over 400 people coming from countries all over the region and beyond.
Tamás Polster MRICS, Partner and Co-Founder, Urbanite Advisors, who moderated the discussion, cited a study that shows that the corporate re-urbanisation trend will continue after the health crisis. This will mean that more companies plan to move to more central locations in large cities.
Employees in small and medium-sized (SME) companies are returning to the office, while corporations still stay away due to internal regulation, said Hubert Abt, CEO, New Work & workcloud24. He envisioned a future in which flexible workspaces will be virtually everywhere, so companies would opt for 500 sqm in a key location instead of 5,000 sqm of offices.
Giles Bateman MRICS, Regional Development Director – Continental Europe, IWG plc, pointed out that companies are looking to provide alternatives for employees and one such alternative is co-working offices. In light of this trend, IWG has already sold over 2 million subscriptions since the start of 2021. Bateman added that there will be workplaces close to home and we might end up paying for work time in offices just like we buy cloud storage.
Meanwhile, Erwin Hanslik MRICS, Partner and CEE Head of Real Estate, Taylor Wessing, spoke about the legal challenges of work from home and the responsibilities shared by companies and employees in a new framework.
Big corporate employees are trying to provide concierge services to attract people back to the office, with anything from dry cleaners to healthy food and a selection of new restaurants, explained Libor Holík, CEO Czech Republic and Slovakia, B+N Czech Republic Facility Services.
Sylwia Toczyska, Managing Director, ALTO Accounting, spoke about the desires of employees to work from smaller cities and the requests that companies in Poland receive to set up smaller offices in cities outside Warsaw.
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