Employees' Expectations Towards Working in Office Evolving

Office Market

Expectations regarding the office and office work have fundamentally changed in recent years. In many industries, remote working has become inevitable, yet many companies still cannot give up the idea of employees being physically present. However, the facility and property managers in office buildings can do a lot together to make the office more attractive to tenants' employees and to make work more efficient, according to Icon Real Estate Management.

Flexibility is inevitable not only in companies' home office regulations but also for office buildings. With the spread of remote and hybrid work, there are days when only one or two colleagues work from the office, while other times nearly the entire team needs space.

Accommodating all employees comfortably and creating variable-sized rooms can now be easily achieved with movable partitions, for example, but efficiently heating, cooling, ventilating, and lighting office spaces remains a significant operational challenge. Some tenants have already responded to these changes by giving up their own meeting rooms and using shared office spaces for larger events and meetings.

“In the future, a key task for the operations area will continue to be the flexible provision of office functions equipped with digital technologies and automation according to needs, supplemented by the level of data provision expected by the user. For both owners and tenants, it is increasingly important to be able to prove with accurate utility consumption data that their properties comply with increasingly stringent energy regulations, thus meeting the expectations of certifying organizations as well as the needs of employees," noted Róbert Flück, facility management director at Icon Real Estate Management.

It has almost become a cliché that the ideal office should be easily accessible by both public transportation and car, and its design should adapt to the needs of the employees and the requirements for efficient work. Employees should not have to travel long distances during breaks or after work to access various services, such as restaurants, cafes, shops, post offices, pharmacies, and dry cleaners. A workplace can also be made more attractive if there is a gym or beauty salon nearby.

“An increasing number of tenants recognize that the office has become an important tool for recruitment and HR. GenZ employees in particular demand that the office not only be a place of work but also provide an experience, be easily accessible and offer convenient services either within the office building or its location," summarized Zsolt Kákosy, senior property management director at Icon Real Estate Management.

Companies vary in how they try to offer positive experiences to their high-performing employees amid the increasingly fierce competition for talent. According to Icon's experience, initiatives like fruit days or game rooms have not quite lived up to expectations. However, employees particularly appreciate it when the office provides designated areas, such as near the reception, with automated lockers for receiving packages and food deliveries.

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