Flexible workspace operators and investments in amenities are boosting the efforts of companies and developers to accelerate the return of employees to office buildings, although hybrid work arrangements remain in high demand, concluded speakers in the post-pandemic office panel of SEE Property Forum 2022, held in Bucharest.
Roxana Bencze, COO, Knight Frank Romania, who chaired the panel, pointed out that hybrid work in gaining ground in Romania as people realize that they can be as productive at their job from home just like in the office.
Having a good change management process is needed for the return to the office, according to Adriana Andrei, Senior Architect, Tétris Design & Build Romania. People are looking for workspaces with green areas and the possibility to have more personalized work experiences. Co-working spaces are becoming satellites for HQ's of companies, according to Andrei.
Giles Bateman MRICS, Head of Real Estate Europe – Network Development, IWG plc explained that in a large real estate project, corporate occupiers take a negative view if there is no flexible workspace provider in the project. He added that IWG has added 2 million customers and is expanding to 1,000 new locations, mostly in suburbs and secondary cities.
In the past few months, more people have returned to the office, and the arrangements of working only from home are working only in some instances, mentioned Stamatis Sapkas, Group Chief Financial Officer, Globalworth. Co-working is a good addition to existing buildings and Globalworth wants to have these spaces in the group’s projects, according to Sapkas,
Millennials and Gen Z are among the cohorts of employees that have returned to the office, explained Maria Tudorică, Commercial Real Estate Manager, Genesis Property. She added that the office is becoming a playground for culture and connection. Moreover, this allows junior colleagues to have mentorship experiences, which is harder to replicate in a remote work arrangement.
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