Workspace Studio, local company specialized in ergonomically oriented design solutions and an accredited sole partner of Herman Miller in Romania, ended 2020 with a turnover of 9 million euros. The financial results were influenced by the pandemic, but the context was the ideal framework for an accelerated expansion to retail.
Workspace Studio has quickly adapted to the new reality in the labor market. If the second quarter and part of the third quarter of 2020 were severely affected by market uncertainty and real estate changes, in the fourth quarter the company managed to recover by offering new solutions, adapted to the context, for offices that continued to operate, but also by expanding to B2C.
Thus, the turnover Workspace Studio reached in 2020 amounted to 9 million euros, in which the B2C segment accounted for 7% of the total, an increase compared to 3% in 2019. The end of the year maintained the positive dynamics after the lifting of restrictions, both in B2C and B2B projects, the last quarter bringing almost 30% of total turnover.
Together with Allspace Interiors, our subsidiary specialized in fitout works, partitions and floors, we exceeded 10 million euros combined turnover in a year full of uncertainties and in which we did not have any big project. It is another sign that, despite a certain decline in the office market, customers are looking for high quality products and solutions and partners who offer high-level professional services – says Horatiu Didea, Managing Partner of Workspace Studio.
The most popular products in 2020 remained the ergonomic chairs from Herman Miller, with a dynamic accelerated by remote work and the orientation of employers towards investments in ergonomics and quality. These are followed by acoustic booths, that provide privacy and separation, as well as air purification solutions, accessed by companies that have opted to keep offices open and work in hybrid home & office system.
Ergonomics, at home and at the office
Also, the companies oriented towards the comfort and wellbeing of the employees directed budgets to support the arrangement of the ergonomic home office. The average investment supported by employers was 1500 eur / employee. On the other hand, companies that have started office refurbishment projects have opted more than ever for high quality products, the average investment in a job growing by about 20% compared to 2019 and exceeding 1800 euro / work station.
The future belongs to the companies whose employees will be productive in a hybrid system of work, in office and remote. 2021, the year following the restrictions caused by the pandemic, is shaping up to be one in which the spaces become more airy and develop multifunctional areas. The offices will be dedicated to teamwork, know-how transfer, education, integration and decision-making, rather than individual processing work, which will remain mostly remote, adds Horațiu Didea.
Investment projects from 2020: 350,000 euros in an extended showroom and online store
The increased demand for ergonomic furniture in the residential segment in the first half of 2020 has led Workspace Studio to focus on the retail market. The company has invested 100,000 euros in launching an online store that includes in stock the most requested products in this customer segment, namely the Herman Miller ergonomic chairs. In the next 2 years, this segment is estimated to generate revenues of over 1 million euros.
Most employees will continue to work remotely in 2021, the labor market undergoing transformations that will continue in the coming years. Therefore, the need to ensure comfortable workspaces and to support productivity in the home office is constantly growing, says Didea.
Also, in 2020, Workspace Studio invested 250,000 euros in the expansion of its own showroom, which became a benchmark for trends in the office market in 2021. The total area occupied by the showroom in the Sky Tower building in the northern part of Bucharest thus increased by 45%, to 550 sqm.
We expect our market segment – ergonomically oriented office facilities – to grow, supported both by the need to rethink the office, but also by the need to arrange work areas inside the home. We decided to continue the plan to expand the showroom, despite the uncertain period from the middle of last year, in order to be able to expose a greater variety of products and solutions adapted to the current context, for the offices of the present and the future, adds Horațiu Didea.
While remote work remains an option and even a norm for many companies and in 2021, the office of the present focuses on flexibility more than ever. The meeting space can also be a cafe or a relaxation area, just as the manager’s office becomes a meeting place for partners or project colleagues.
Office areas will reduce by an average of about 30%, because they will serve a smaller number of employees who come to the office every day. But their design will be more airy, more comfortable and more wellbeing-oriented, in other words, more ergonomic. Companies are already investing more in quality and design to provide the right environment for socializing, connecting, innovating and making decisions. Moreover, the spaces must ensure safe working conditions and the health of the employees, that is why the quality materials, which support repeated cleaning and sanitation, are more sought after than ever, Horațiu Didea also said.