The event was organised in partnership with Poznań City Office, CBRE, Nowy Styl Group, Regus and Skanska.This half-day meeting brought participants up to date with the latest market trends and current business directions. It offered practical advice on how one can increase the efficiency of one's business through greater flexibility of office space.
Andrzej Nowak, the city architect for Poznań told guests how Poznan has changed over the years in terms of the city's spatial planning. Mr Nowak presented Poznan development plans in a series of illustrated slides covering the past 20 years and going forward to show how the city will develop until 2030. Central to the plan was a 'green cross' – a north-south and east-west axis of parkland and woods that intersect by the city centre. No developments will be allowed to impinge upon this, he said.
Next speaker was Konrad Heidinger, senior consultant in CBRE's Market Research Department, who presented the current situation on Poznań's office market. He compared Poznań with other big cities in Poland. Mr Heindinger pointed out that last year, there was almost 40,000m² of rented office space. According to CBRE, Poznan's strengths are its educated workforce boasting a high level of proficiency in foreign languages (especially German), good connections with Warsaw and Berlin, and airport located near the city centre.
Michael Dembinski, the BPCC's chief advisor spoke about the forthcoming revolution in construction and real estate, namely Building Information Modelling (BIM). BIM is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places in 3D, with non-graphic information tagged to the model. UK experience in the use of BIM has shown that construction costs can be reduced by 20% and lifecycle costs over the lifetime of the building can fall by as much as 33%. Hence, said Mr Dembinski, the UK government has mandated the use of BIM for all buildings and infrastructure it procures after 2016. "BIM is not so much a new technology as a new way of doing things. It increases productivity, improves collaboration between architect, contractor, engineer and developer but also assures the highest quality of documentation – all on one place, in the cloud, available to all, for the lifespan of the building," he said.
Agnieszka Krawczyk-Rogowska, a senior leasing negotiator, for Skanska Property Poland, spoke about the new standards of modern office space, tailored to fit the needs of business services companies. She shared with the audience the results of research carried out in cooperation with Jones Lang LaSalle and shared-service centre association ABSL, where nearly 30 companies from the BPO sector responded to a detailed survey regarding their needs for office space. It turns out that the most important issue among the respondents was good access to public transport and rental prices, then location and quality of the office. Other factors also rated as important by the BPO centre operators were green building solutions and access to higher education.
After a pause for coffee and exchange business cards, the second panel was opened by Leszek Romanowski from Nowy Styl Group, one of Europe's largest manufacturers of office furniture. He looked at current trends in office working such as home office, flexible working hours and generational differences and considered how these trends were affecting companies' requirements for office space, and how that space is being planned. He believes there is a possibility for a compromise between employer's interests and employees' requirements when arranging an office interior. Mr Romanowski showed inspiring office arrangements offered by Nowy Styl Group, suited to the needs of businesses today and in the future.
Tomasz Piela, the regional manager of Regus, continued the theme of how business is looking for ever greater flexibility in office solutions in response to rapidly changing trends. According to Mr Piela, the working environment will be augmented by mobile workers having short-term access to dedicated workspaces located at petrol stations, airports, underground stations and shopping malls. These workspaces, equipped with wi-fi, laptop sockets and other necessities, will shortly be a feature of our working lives.
After all the presentations and discussion, which was moderated by Mr Dembinski, all the participants were invited to the restaurant for lunch.