Now that the Romanian authorities have eased some of the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, companies are beginning to resume activity in the headquarters located in office buildings, but with only 40% of employees in a first phase, according to a survey conducted by real estate consulting company Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.
Thus, the majority of employees will continue to work from home.
During the period of home isolation imposed by the authorities, only 4% of the employees continued their activity from the office. According to Cushman & Wakefield Echinox, the office buildings' occupancy rate is expected to increase ten times in the coming period.
However, more than half of the employees working in the services area will continue, at least for a while, to work from home, according to the survey conducted between May 21 and May 29. A total of 33 companies in Bucharest and Cluj, with over 17,000 employees working in office buildings, participated in the survey.
Half of these companies have returned or will return to the office with a significant share of employees during June, almost 20% of companies scheduled their return in September, while 13% of the surveyed companies, especially small and medium, intend to return to the office only at the beginning of next year.
In this context, 30% of the interviewed companies say that in the next 12 months they will need less office space, 61% of the companies cover their office needs with the already contracted areas, while 9% of the companies expect to need extra space.
"Companies will continue to practice a mix of office work and home work for several reasons, such as the desire of some companies to test the efficiency of working from home on a longer period, or the more cautious attitude of some employees, who prefer to avoid as much as possible the crowded places, such as the public transport. The most important aspect is related to the fact that, at an average density of about 10 sqm/employee - the local market standard before the pandemic, it is impossible to return to the office with all employees in compliance with the recommended distancing rules. Thus, we consider that this percentage of 40% is close to the maximum capacity of the office spaces already rented in the current context, reconfirming the need for office premises and even the potential to resize them by taking over additional spaces," said Madalina Cojocaru, Partner, Office Agency, Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.
The stock of modern offices in Bucharest and Cluj reaches almost 3.5 million square meters, hosting over 300,000 employees in various fields, such as IT, telecom, financial services (banks - insurance), professional services (lawyers - consultants), or media.
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Nearly 70% of owners and tenants on the Romanian office space market believe that the COVID-19 epidemic will continue to...