Return to on-site work in offices, but with less desks, according to KF

Return to on-site work in offices, but with less desks, according to KF

Companies will bet on recovering on-site work in offices as the pandemic subsides, but with less influence from remote work. This much is highlighted in the study «(Y)our Space: Discover your new world of work», compiled by consultant Knight Frank, based on a survey carried out within more than 400 global companies.

Thus, according to the report, trends such as remote work, which was generally established during the lockdown, will not extend much longer beyond the pandemic period, or it will be combined with on-site work. Only around 27% of respondents remarked that Covid-19 will have a permanent influence on their real estate strategy.

Offices under transformation

This survey shows that Covid-19 will serve to accelerate the trend to transform offices into something more than a space to develop a professional activity. 

There is, thus, a redefinition of working spaces in these companies, in terms of shape, function, quality and quantity. At the company level, it is believed that «we will see a firm bet on collaborative work, since around 55% of the surveyed companies will increase this type of spaces through hot desking and shared desks regimes».

Around 77% of respondents will reduce the number of workers per desk, and around 60% will half it. Nevertheless, the consultant sustained that it wil increase the room between desks, meaning that the net difference in sqm will be very similar.

«Remote work and social distancing as a new normal practice will force a resetting of spaces. Nevertheless, we are not facing the end of offices, but rather a redesigning of the concept of presential», explained Jorge Sena, Commercial director at Knight Frank España.

The survey revealed that the future of offices will be marked by four main factors, generated or boosted by the pandemic: a new strategic orientation; greater safety and better health in the office; a greater consideration towards sustainability and an increased relevance on the use of data to improve productivity and the employees’ experience at the workspace.

Office and brand value

Thus, concerning the first of these factors, 90% of respondents coincided in terms of the offices’ strategic worth in terms of developing their businesses. 49% of the companies surveyed remarked that having physical offices supports the creation of their brand and image. 43% further believe that it allows reducing costs for the company; and 37% of respondents maintained that having on-site workspaces improves the employees’ well-being, attracts and retains talent and encourages collaboration amongst colleagues.

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