Workplace trends in Romania: mixing work & fun

The buildings we work in no longer look like they did in the early 90s, neither abroad, nor in Romania. As the office has become not only the place to work, but also where people spend much of their days, the transition from cubical to open space, with more rest and recreation areas has been made in recent years. 

Meanwhile, the office projects market in Romania has been growing steadily in 2018, after having witnessed one of the strongest expansion in Central and Eastern Europe in recent years, after the economic crisis. It went hand in hand with the increase in the number of jobs in Romania.

The office is not only the place where we only work eight hours a day. It is where people socialize, make friends, recreate, prepare food or do sports. Today’s offices have become the places where people spend most of their time, sometimes more than in their homes. Therefore, real estate developers try to integrate many familiar elements which help employees feel good, stay focused and be productive.

Unconventional, vibrantly-colored, TVs hanging on the walls, with pool tables and sofas to relax after desk work, game rooms, even swimming pools or gyms. This is how employers create a good environment for their employees, which helps increase retention and productivity. These are already the norms for many large companies in Romania. Even smaller employers are beginning to change their offices to follow this trend.

More and more office projects delivered in Romania include varied facilities, from rooftop running trails to bicycle parkings together with dedicated bikesharing services, from sports rooms and showers to gardens with work areas.

And the results are already measurable. According to a study from real estate brokerage firm CBRE, employee productivity has increased with values ranging between 10% and 45%, following improvements in wellness standards.

“Improving wellness standards is an extremely strong trend in the office spaces market, which has increased on local market as well. The concept of sustainability has migrated from the sphere of property to that of the user, aiming to ensure the most enjoyable experience and to increase the quality of work. Today, on the office building market we are witnessing the transition from a simple workspace to a superior experience that offers easy access to the office, residential and retail areas. Young generations want to be able to walk or ride the bike to work, and to have at their disposal shops or spaces where they can do sports. As some of our study’s findings show, creating an unconventional workplace increases employee productivity significantly”, said Mihai Păduroiu, CBRE Romania’s Head of Advisory & Transaction Services.

The office market in Romania continues to grow

According to Cushman & Wakefield Echinox, the number of employees in the country’s capital exceeded one million earlier this year, and a quarter of them work in modern office buildings. Taking into account the office projects announced this year, as well as the development and recruitment plans international companies have on the local market, the number of employees in modern office buildings in Bucharest could rise to 280,000 people up to the end of this year.

“The number of employees in Bucharest is growing, with over 100,000 new employees in the last three years. At the same time, there is a significant evolution of the work conditions offered by employers as an important factor in the retention process,” the Cushman & Wakefield Echinox analysts say.

The office buildings market has been on the rise last year, and analysts further anticipate a big expansion this year. The new stock completed in Bucharest, of 147,800 square meters, remained at an average level of the last eight years, but the deliveries in the big regional cities reached 93,000 square meters, including the record activity in Timisoara (42,000-sqm).

According to Colliers International Romania forecasts, 185,000-sqm of A-class office spaces will be delivered in Bucharest this year. The problem with the infrastructure in the north will result in the expansion of the projects in the city center and in the western part of the Capital.

This year, Bucharest will no longer be the main development hub in Romania, in terms of office buildings projects. Because of the massive expansion and hiring intentions of foreign companies with activities in the big cities across the country, analysts expect the office stock to grow massively in Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Iasi, and Brasov. Therefore, if the total stock of offices in the four major regional cities is 3.5 times lower than in Bucharest, the gap will be reduced by 150.000-sqm, in 2018.

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(photo source: Adobe Stock)

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