By Anna Korwin–Kulesza, asset management & leasing director, Globalworth Poland
The pandemic has had a tremendous effect on how the office market has evolved. On the one hand, it has brought in greater digitisation as well as modern solutions; on the other, it has complicated the development of the entire sector.
According to Globalworth, a leading developer of office real estate in the CEE region, over the next few years investors are, to a large extent, going to be focusing their activities on modernising existing space to make it more attractive to tenants, so that it meets the changing conditions in the market. The strategy pursued by Globalworth exemplifies how concentrating on understanding clients and meeting their needs is the key to success in the office market.
The pace of change over the last two years towards greater flexibility has been impressive especially in the office space market. This is due to the majority of companies moving towards a hybrid work model; the correct response to this should be a flexible approach to the needs of the client.
Such a model has been adopted by our company, particularly since the pandemic. As a leader in the office market, Globalworth’s core strategy is to implement numerous measures to guarantee that we remain a long-term partner to our tenants. As a result of the changes that the market has undergone since 2020, it is necessary to keep in mind that remote work is not enough. It is essential for it to be combined with work in the office. For this reason hybrid work is now driving the evolution of the office market. Thus, we are focusing on listening to the needs of those who lease our properties and we offer them a wider range of services.
During the pandemic, we adopted an owner-management strategy to be closer to our tenants and to be able to immediately react to their demands. Our specialists have been active participants in these market changes and occasionally even instigators of it. The greatest challenge of the last few years is the hybrid work model, which has revolutionised the office market.
In this new situation, the individual and their well-being are most important, because everything happens around them. At Globalworth, we are aware that an office needs to move from an operational role to one of integration to support the culture of an organisation and allow a company to maintain its identity. It needs to be central to the identity of the community. This is why we want to be closer to the tenant, to be able to react immediately to their needs and problems.
This is made possible by the fact that we offer a full range of services through our organisation – not only do we manage all our properties in Poland, but we are also able to offer support when a tenant needs to reconstruct their office space. We also have experience of relocating a few of our tenants out of our buildings to others from our portfolio. We try to find contractual solutions that assure our tenants the maximum flexibility as part of their long-term leases. Moreover, we offer a full fit-out service (with a turnkey interior) to our current, future and potential tenants, which starts with the support of an interior architect and ends with the management of the construction work.
Such solutions allow our clients to create an individualised working environment. Globalworth’s Workplaces department has proven our success with such projects by winning the main prize for the Best Interior Concept at the CIJ Awards Poland for a project in the Warsaw Trade Tower. As part of this project, our specialists designed a 13,000m2 office for Uniqa.
We are also proud that another one of our office arrangements, which was also in the Warsaw Trade Tower building, this time for MSD, was also nominated for the same award. Currently our Workplaces team are working on office interiors with a combined area of over 34,000m2. These projects result from contracts signed with new tenants, as well as lease extensions and the space expansions of existing clients.
At Globalworth, maintaining long-standing relations with our workers and tenants is at the core of our values. To meet the challenges of the return to the office, we have organised workshops with our tenants as well as events to promote the advantages of working from the office. Through our Miss My Office and our Office Renaissance campaigns, we have motivated many workers in Poland and Romania to return to the office and together we have emphasised how important it is for a person to work in the offices, in a group and in the company of others.
Workers very much expect flexible work with the opportunity to work from the home office. This way of working is important for many. In this regard, workers have begun to appreciate the flexibility of their employers, which is something we are seeing with our tenants. At the same time, workers want to have access to the latest work tools in their offices as well as comfortable furnishings, a place where they can concentrate and also use conference, relaxation and recreation rooms. For this reason, we are continually investing in our buildings and upgrading systems so that they meet current building standards and ensure the comfort of the user.
Companies that have their offices in our buildings will soon be gaining yet another amenity. We are currently rolling out the Globalworth App, to help our building users organise their work in their offices. This is not just a virtual entrance card on a telephone to give you touchless entry to the office. Above all, it offers numerous convenient functions. For example it allows office rooms to be booked as well as parking spaces and conference rooms, And it can also be used to open the gates in the lobby and call lifts. Rolling out this app makes yet another facility available to office workers, while at the same time, it is a project that allows workers to organise their duties to a greater extent so that they fit a hybrid working model.
We are convinced that the Globalworth App is going to be much appreciated by our tenants. It is not only the good relations we have with our tenants that make our projects successful, but also the individual and flexible approach we take with them. As a result, we remain a partner for our tenants, whether it be during the Covid-19 pandemic, during the hybrid work revolution or during any other time when action is required. The fact that nearly 60% of our tenants decide to prolong their leases and remain part of the Globalworth community for longer is a measure of how effective such activities are.