As employees will increasingly return to the office in 2022, a need for office transformation that responds to the post-pandemic way of working is emerging. Half of Romanian employees believe that the office needs to be redesigned to create different areas that give them more flexibility and multiple working options, depending on the type of work and collaboration needs, inspired by the Activity-Based Workspace (ABW) model. At the same time, 60% believe there is a need for advanced technologies to improve sanitization in workplaces and therefore limit health risks, according to a survey of 1,100 employees nationwide conducted by Genesis Property between September and October this year.
Thus, employees feel that their office must increasingly adapt to the hybrid working model of the future and to the flexibility required by their type of work, both in terms of office presence and the interaction with other team members. Over 45% believe that offices should offer large, open-plan office spaces, and 43% expect them to include flexible, café-style or co-working-inspired work areas.
72% believe that enclosed spaces are also needed, with a capacity adapted to collaboration needs - larger-sized for cooperation in large teams of more than 20 people, medium-sized for meetings with 15-20 people, small-sized for activities involving participation in teams of less than 15 people, but also very small-sized for activities requiring quiet and concentration where no more than 5 people can work. So the coffee shop workspace type, quiet areas with comfortable armchairs or sofas, isolated phone booths, as well as green areas and outdoor terraces could become increasingly common in offices in the future.
Health risks, still concerning for employees
Employees who have returned to the office in recent months want to feel safer in the context of the pandemic and believe that workplaces should be equipped with new technologies to improve workplace sanitization and limit health risks. Thus, about 95% of employees responding to the Genesis Property survey confirm the need for more innovative technologies in their office building. Another 80% think it would be useful to have digital screens displaying immunity-boosting indicators, and 70% believe that office buildings need a specially designed area, fully equipped and ready for use in case of an immediate need for isolation.
”Offices need to be redesigned and transformed to better adapt to future ways of working and to employees’ activity and collaboration needs. The pandemic has changed expectations, and an office designed around a dynamic and agile concept such as the Activity-Based Workspace (ABW) model, and adapted to the epidemiological context through measures and technologies such as those recommended by the IMMUNE™ standard, can be a response to post-pandemic labour market trends”, says Gavin Bonner, Vice president Genesis Property.
Healthier offices with IMMUNE™ standard measures
Most of the measures that employees in Romania want are already laid down in the IMMUNE Building Standard™, developed by the Romanian company Genesis Property in 2020 specifically to assess and certify the health of indoor space. The standard proposes 135 consistent measures that provide building owners or companies with the necessary tools to monitor and adjust the health of workplaces.
The Genesis Property survey on employees' perception of building health was conducted nationwide in September - October 2021 via the iVox platform on a total sample of 1,100 internet users in Romania. Almost 54% of participants are women, more than 50% are aged between 25 and 40, and 53% have a net income of more than 3,000 lei.