Work from home will continue in the post Covid-19 era. Companies rely on a hybrid way of working to maintain their organizational culture

Mihai Cristea 06/10/2020 | 16:10

Working from home will remain a common practice within many companies even after the Covid-19 epidemic passes, in a hybrid work system that combines remote activity with activity in the office for the entire team, a survey conducted by Colliers International among management and decision makers in nearly 80 companies with activities in various economic sectors and teams from a few dozen to thousands of employees shows. Remote work raises problems within teams on the long-term for 80% of respondents, so they are forced to redefine their way of working and most rely on transforming offices into hubs that support collaboration, accelerate creativity and maintain team spirit.

 

Even if the productivity of employees was maintained at home in 58% of companies, while 25% even saw an increase, four out of five companies have faced challenges in recent months due to the remote way of working. And the indefinite extension of the current model would most likely deepen effects on team cohesion and collaboration, as well as pose difficulties in maintaining the organizational culture. Therefore, respondents to the Colliers International survey rely on a hybrid model of work after the Covid-19 epidemic, in which all employees will return at the office and will work 1-2 days a week remotely (53% of companies), while another 33% will offer their employees 3-4 working days out of the office.

“People feel the need to interact, to communicate easily with each other and with their managers, to work in a team and to have a framework in which they can create synergies and exchange ideas. This all points toward a mixed way of working, in which employees can keep the flexibility and dynamics of remote work, while the office becomes a hub designed to support collaboration and accelerate creativity and team spirit in the office”, explains Dominique Bogdănaș, Associate Workplace Advisory at Colliers International.

Although there are still uncertainties about the future way of working, most companies plan to keep the office space before the pandemic and will rethink the existing space to respond to the new way of working they adopt. Only a small part expects to expand its office, as a result of recruiting they have conducted or will conduct in the next period. There are also companies that anticipate a downsize in terms of occupied spaces in the future as a result of business developments during this period.

”The relevance of offices will remain high post-coronavirus and most companies will rethink the office to meet the changing needs in the workplace. The changes in occupancy will be gradual as these depend on the expiry date of the contracts in force, and the spaces that will become available on the market will most likely be absorbed over time. Bucharest is a city with a relatively small stock of office space relative to the population, several times lower than in Western cities and over 50% below Warsaw, for example, and the difference is even greater in regional cities, which rather indicates there is room for longer-term growth of the office stock”, says Sebastian Dragomir, Partner & Head of Office Advisory whitin Colliers International.

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