Companies will still be looking for office space, but they will increasingly have to work to make employees feel good in this environment. Better than at home. We asked four major development companies that have the construction of office real estate in their portfolio about the consequences of a pandemic in this segment.

What awaits us?

Michaela Ochmanová from YIT has the experience that if tenants want to attract employees working from home back to the offices, they care more about the uniqueness of office space. The disappearance of the once preferred open space offices is now being talked about quite openly.

This is confirmed by the words of Petr Demský from CORWIN: "For health reasons, companies prefer to return to traditional offices, where dozens of people do not sit in one area, where one infected employee can endanger a huge number of his colleagues."

Viktor Ondrášek assumes that the biggest trends for the future will be artificial intelligence, smart technologies, space flexibility and a pleasant working environment.

Martin Marko from Immocap says that the company pays to listen to the ideas of clients: "Since the outbreak of the pandemic, tenants have been more cautious in the office market, have increased demands and are modifying the concept of workspace layout."

In addition to the consequences of the pandemic, there is also a trend towards ecology among the trends. According to Petr Demský, CORWIN uses local and recycled raw materials, rainwater harvesting and obtaining energy from renewable sources in its projects, which contributes to the sustainability of buildings.

Last year, it shook the office segment most significantly in the long run. There has been talk that the office market will change, but we do not know how. Can we predict more today?

P. Demsky, CORWIN:

Many office projects will have problems with occupancy. We can already see examples where builders are trying to either redraw the original "offsets" for residential projects or postpone them. For CORWIN, however, we can confirm that there is still demand in the office segment. We benefit, for example, from the fact that, as a developer, we did not focus on creating an offer for shared services centers. Those on the Slovak market generate a significant part of the demand for office space.

on the other hand, it is precisely these companies that not only re-evaluate their approach to home offices after the pandemic, but many of Slovakia are also withdrawing a substantial part of their activities. Our offer was aimed at companies with a classic organizational structure, which are looking for premises to locate their headquarters, they are interested in issues of ecology, sustainability and health.

An example is our Einpark Offices project, which is gradually being implemented. The reason is also the fact that it is the greenest building in Slovakia, which belongs with the LEED Platinum certificate to 1% of buildings in the world in terms of sustainability. And this is exactly what we consider to be the future of this sector - the emphasis on sustainability and the creation of a healthy indoor and outdoor environment for tenants.

The past period has basically only accelerated trends, but they were here before. At HB Reavis, several colleagues are dedicated to specifically innovative solutions and their implementation, so we have been building for a long time that the biggest trends for the future will be artificial intelligence and smart technologies, flexibility and well-being. That is why we were one of the first to come up with services for clients that cover these needs.

The basic concept is based on the Origameo service, which helps clients get the most out of space, the Symbiosis service, which can monitor and customize it in real time, and also the More service, which I would describe as an assistant able to solve many operational tasks instead of me.

You will also find in our portfolio various types of space itself, such as cowork HubHub, flexible rental of space under the Qubes brand or classic long-term schemes of office solutions, which we "tailor" to a specific client. Offices will certainly not disappear, only their function will change, which will be more community-oriented and oriented to people and their needs with an emphasis on well-being and sustainability.

As a result, they will support not only the individual and his productivity, but also the corporate culture, the company itself and finally the whole society, which today focuses more on factors with long-term benefits. A healthy corporate identity and culture cannot be built only on the home office, although it has probably become a permanent part of working life.