Office Usage Habits Changing, Value of Liveable Spaces Increasing

Office Market

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The coronavirus epidemic and the rise of the home office have shaken up the office market. In line with international trends, the habits of office usage have also changed in Hungary. Liveability has become more and more important, and solutions to recharge employees' batteries and make work breaks more meaningful are becoming increasingly important, while employers are increasingly using tricks to make office work more attractive.

According to international experience, the livability of offices is decisively influenced by the community spaces, locations and activities in which employees can use their breaks for recharging and relaxation. The authors of a study published in the Harvard Business Review note that as needs change, natural indoor gardens, airy terraces, spaces for relaxation, retreats and even playful, entertaining recreation have become increasingly important. These collaborative spaces have become more valuable as the number of home office days has increased, but working from home also impacts the increase in the amount of space per worker in the office. This aligns with the results of ICON's internal survey of its property managers.

In the office buildings managed by the company, tenants typically encourage staff to perform better by creating shared event spaces, cafés, break-out rooms or even rooms for sports. Separate massage, Lego, yoga or prayer rooms are still the exception and baby-mama rooms are a rarity, but these needs are likely to be addressed in the future.

"Icon continuously monitors changes in international and domestic office trends and considers it of utmost importance to have up-to-date information on the evolution of tenant needs and expectations. Our team of experts is able to respond quickly and flexibly to the most varied needs, thanks to good relations and dialogue with tenants. The aim is to make office space more attractive to tenants, optimise office use and enhance employee satisfaction," says Zsolt Kákosy, senior director of property management at Icon Real Estate Management.

In line with international trends, more and more people are replacing cellular workstations with communal, open office spaces, which has increased the demand for separate phone rooms, which are increasingly found in buildings managed by Icon.

Employers are using a variety of methods to attract workers back to the office, depending on their size, scope, opportunities and creativity. Fruit days, massages, letting dogs in, and providing full meals on certain days are now common, but some organise sports days, provide unlimited food and drink, and set up a mini-golf course or a sun terrace. It is clear that beyond making the office an attractive place to work, it is becoming increasingly important for employers to improve the efficiency of their employees.

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