Skanska: New office spaces are a sign of workplace culture transformation

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2024-05-14   19:38
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The post-pandemic era has brought significant changes in companies' perception of office spaces, placing a strong emphasis on promoting corporate culture and productivity through physical office presence. The trend of hybrid work modes, which gained momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic, is gradually declining. Businesses are increasingly recognizing the value of office spaces in fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and strengthening corporate culture.

Despite the market's initial tendency to reduce office spaces due to the hybrid work model, there is now a growing demand for flexible and "homey" office environments that cater to employees' well-being and entertainment. Clients are seeking offices that provide flexible workspaces, auditoriums, coffee and breakout zones, creating an environment more akin to a community space than a traditional workplace.

"It's refreshing to see that after four years, there's a strong outcome, that the office plays an indispensable role in a company's culture, productivity, and employee engagement. The leasing process of H2Offices’ first phase sheds light on this trend, where the demand for office space remains very strong, and there were instances where tenants sought additional square meters shortly after initial leasing," says Amarilla Cseke, Leasing & Asset Director Skanska’s commercial development business unit in Hungary.

In addition to flexibility, sustainability and ESG factors are becoming increasingly important to clients. The financial advantages of energy-efficient solutions, such as the use of heat pumps resulting in lower service charges, also play a crucial role in the decisionmaking process for a relocation. The surge in energy prices has strengthened the importance of investing in sustainable solutions, not only for their environmental impact but also for the real cost savings they offer.

The new tenant needs and the ESG compliance, now regulated by law in a growing number of countries, gave birth to Skanska's ESG+ service, which, among others, provide tenants with data necessary for ESG reporting, such as CO2 emissions and carbon footprint, and assist with audits. This was an initiative from Skanska’s leasing team and inspired by a lot of valuable conversations with business partners, as they wanted to provide an integrated solution for tenants for the currently challenging task of implementing ESG into their operations.

According to Skanska's recent experiences not only in Hungary but also Europe-wide, offices remain an essential part of successful business operations and the cultivation and retention of talent. To create true cohesion, an adequate amount and variety of space is very much necessary.

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