With companies making significant efforts to get back to normal after they’ve dealt with the impact of COVID-19, the next step for them is to set up a plan for their employees to return to the office. But as experts say and companies confirm, this return will be a gradual one, as the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic is still unpredictable. The main focus now for both landlords and their corporate clients is to ensure a safe working environment by implementing measures and clear protocols for how everything in the office operates while managing health and safety risks for employees. BR sat down with landlords and companies and found out how they were preparing for their employees’ return to the office.
By Anda Sebesi
With an eye on logistics
According to Sinziana Pardhan, managing director for Romania at P3 Logistic Parks, the past months have been exceptional.
“Nevertheless, in our market segment, adaptability paves the road to business continuity and sustainable development. From the onset of the coronavirus, the health and safety of our employees and business partners were, and will continue to be, our top priority. In this context, we have worked on developing and implementing several policies and measures. For our employees, we have adopted remote work and travel restrictions as primary measures, allowing only necessary physical interaction, while of course following all social distancing recommendations and very stringent hygiene rules,” Pardhan explains.
The company also ensured that the working flow in P3 Bucharest A1 park could continue smoothly and, in this context, together with the facility management provider, the company has tailored a complex scheme to secure and guarantee the uninterrupted provision of maintenance services and the good functioning of its warehouses.
As for the level of investment made to ensure a safe environment for both its employees and its partners, Pardhan says that it is very difficult to measure the actual financial impact of these measures as there are a lot of indirect costs involved.
“In this particular unprecedented situation, the short-term cost impact was not our focus. What was really important for us, as a private entity and as humans, was to make sure that the measures and policies we adopted were protecting our team, our tenants, as well as their employees,” says Pardhan.
Asked about how the pandemic had influenced the volume of activity of P3 Logistic Parks, Pardhan says that the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus had created significant challenges for the business environment. Nonetheless, the impact of the pandemic was experienced differently by each business, depending on the industry sector.
“When talking about the real estate market, in a short and medium term, the industrial-logistics segment is the least impacted, as most of the businesses that have and continue to thrive during this period are e-commerce operations, which rely heavily on good quality warehousing space,” The P3 Logistic Parks managing director in Romania says.
With the coronavirus triggering lockdowns and mandatory work-from-home policies worldwide, generated-commerce adoption is now seeing accelerated growth.
“On the leasing side, we have observed tenants generally acting more cautiously during this period. Some of the expansion or relocation plans that were envisioned before the pandemic are now put on hold. Though not at the same levels as 4 months ago, there is still healthy demand from prospective tenants and we remain optimistic for the second part of the year,” Pardhan concludes.