The COVID-19 pandemic turned into a global experiment with employees testing how work-from-home is possible. An experiment that had a huge impact on both employers and employees, as Andreea Cotiga, Senior Leasing Manager at Immofinanz, said at Business Review’s Realty Forum 2020, organized by a new concept Garden Zoom-out.
“The level of used office spaces went down during the restrictions. Fortunately, our portfolio has a fairly diverse mix of tenants, not just companies that have quickly adopted work-from-home, like those in the IT sector,” said Andreea Cotiga.
“Today we see a steady increase in office use. From September we hope to reach almost full occupancy in offices. Sure, there is talk of a second wave of coronavirus, but at the portfolio level these are the expectations,” explained Cotiga.
The pandemic was a period of very rapid change in a very short time and everyone had to think of a real-time strategy. “We, as office managers, have adapted our products. We have adopted all sanitation and safety measures. A plus is that in most of our buildings, the windows can be opened. UV lamps were installed, lamps that work at night when buildings are empty,” said Andreea Cotiga.
The reconfiguration of the spaces is always done together with the operators of the respective spaces and now the terraces are open. “They also made adapted menus, with catering and take away services,” said Cotiga.
“The crisis will impact the office sector, but there are also opportunities in the area of health and well-being. Now the feasibility of large projects is being discussed, many are wondering if it still makes sense to rent very large office spaces. Many are looking to find out if they can split offices or rent in more areas of the city so as to reduce the time required for office transportation. We are trying to do this through MyHive. Landlords will begin to pay more attention to tenants, we will probably see an increase in shorter-term contracts,” said Andreea Cotiga.
As a degree of retention, she mentioned that MyHive concept has already paid off attracted new tenants.
“I believe that companies will maintain their offices because otherwise they will lose their identity. Sure, it will combine office-work with work-from-home. But not all jobs can be done from home. And in the long run, work from home is not a solution. The office is the one that attracts talent, it is the one that defines the company’s culture,” said Cotiga.
After the first two weeks when everything seemed to be put on hold, companies started again projects. So, the brokers started to do virtual tours and show videos of their spaces. “A few contracts have been signed already and we have a few more to be signed,” said Andreea Cotiga.