Currently, more than 80% of employers in Romania have less than half of their employees in the office on a normal working day, according to a survey conducted by Colliers among 75 companies whose headcount ranges from several dozen to hundreds of employees.
However, the importance of offices remains high, with many companies understanding the priority of redesigning theirworkplaces to meet the needs of changing work patterns.
“Three out of four decision-makers in large companies with more than 500 employees expect low office presence this year, below 30%, compared to two out of four respondents from SMEs. This creates an interesting sub-trend, as larger companies may want to create multiple office pods in the same space, which allows them to have greater cost efficiency and flexibility, depending on the number of employees working from the office. This means rethinking the office to be more than just a workspace, but more a space that supports collaboration and team spirit, accelerates creativity and attracts and retains talent. About half of the respondents have already renovated their office to make it more in line with the new way of working, which allows for future flexibility and easiness for tenants to downsize or expand their spaces,” said Silviu Pop, CEE & Romania Research Director at Colliers.
At the same time, most companies are looking for flexible working for their employees and are more open to it than they were two years ago.
In October 2020, around 53% of companies were offering their employees 1-2 remote working days per week, while employers are now talking about 3-4 remote working days. Only 4% of respondents to the Colliers survey ask employees to work permanently from the office.
The survey further shows that 21% of respondents considering remote working to have a negative impact on workforce productivity, compared to 40% who consider it to be an improvement. The same data shows that SMEs have found it more difficult to ensure remote work productivity, with 34% of companies with less than 500 employees seeing an increase in efficiency, compared to 43% of large companies.
“Although there are still uncertainties about the whole present economic and geopolitical context, half of the responding companies said that they have already kept or plan to keep their office space unchanged, and about 10% even plan to expand. At the opposite pole, almost 39% of respondents plan to reduce or have already reduced their office space. In order to be able to easily implement workspace downsizing or extensions in the future, it must be redesigned and arranged as flexibly as possible from the beginning, so as not to affect employee productivity or the use of interior spaces,” says Daniela Popescu, Director | Tenant Services & Workplace Advisory | Office 360.
Turnover growth remains one of the most relevant goals for any company, the Colliers survey also shows, adding that while there is no ”one-size-fits-all” approach to increasing productivity or remote working, various innovations aimed at increasing workplace digitalisation can lead to improved cost efficiency and productivity.
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