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4,000 Respondents Specified their Ideal Post-COVID Workplace

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In Colliers’ latest research report Developing the post-COVID Workplace - a continuation of our research after the report we produced a year ago leveraging data from over 5,000 respondents globally – our experts evaluated the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the way we work.

In Colliers’ latest research report Developing the post-COVID Workplace - a continuation of our research after the report we produced a year ago leveraging data from over 5,000 respondents globally – our experts evaluated the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the way we work.

This time, more than 4,000 professionals globally have used Colliers’ free online tool Workplace Expert during the pandemic to identify what workplace suits best their business in the future.

We asked them about their business characteristics, goals, brand and future work locations and we would like to share a snapshot of this data.

"Through our new Workplace Expert tool, we map current trends, preferences and needs of office space users," said Jana Vlková, Head of Workplace Advisory. "Most companies are currently still creating or testing a new working environment after Covid-19, and the final solutions will be set up in the second half of 2021 according to the current situation. However, it is already clear today that the goal of the new workspaces will be the health of the employees, innovation and the continuation of work flexibility into the future."

This report focused on the way organisations strategised, resized and rebalanced their offices to suit the needs of the post-COVID world.   

Sectors and countries in comparison

·       We identified differences per industry: Public and Transport & Logistics sectors strategized their future workplace requirements based on the highest presence in the office (>68%), while companies in Retail, Professional Services, Energy & Utilities and Automotive sectors had the lowest numbers in required presence in the office (>50%)

·       The Czech Republic showed the highest intention of post-Covid working from home in Europe (49%)

·       The UK and Germany stand out due to the relatively high intention of working from client and partner locations (23% and 20% respectively)

We see 3 different types of strategic workplace approaches:

1)     Plan and adapt before people start returning to the office

2)     Pilot, experiment and adapt

3)     Wait, evaluate and learn

In our report, we have examined the pros and cons of each of them.

One-size -fits-all approach does not suit all businesses in their transformation

We worked with organisations to develop and implement post-COVID workplace strategies - The Colliers Workplace 4B Model – related to four Bs:

1)     Bricks (physical changes)

2)     Bytes (digital changes)

3)     Behaviour (changes in office experience)

4)     Brand (changes in identity)

A typical pre-COVID vs post-COVID office workplace settings

Pre-COVID

Post-COVID

 

Most companies had team areas/workstations serving as home base for a team often fixed area on a floor

Most activity-based workplaces were designed to facilitate activities eg phone boots, meeting rooms, focused rooms

 

Individual work, where possible, will be performed from home or specifically allocated areas (e.g. focus rooms, library space).

Collaboration and team-work will be performed from collaborative settings in the (semi) open space.

Companies were often challenged with continuous refurbishments to ensure the workplace remined aligned with the changing business needs

 

Furniture and equipment is moveable

All settings are multifunctional and the function of areas could change over time, e.g. enclosed room could be at one moment

in time a silent space for focused work, another moment facilitating hybrid meetings, and at another moment opening up for a town hall.

Technology like dynamic lighting and video walls / projections can be used to change the look

 

We see 3 different types of approaches in managing office occupancy:

1)     Individual decision – when organisations leave the decision as to when to work remotely entirely up to the individual

2)     Team decision – decision left up to teams to coordinate across themselves

3)     Organisation decision – more prescriptive model creating clear schedules

In our report, we have evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of each of them.

We see emerging themes in workplace transformation

-        Increased use of booking apps with occupancy analytics platforms to map occupancy levels and get insights into live availabilities of spaces

-        In the future, predictive and dynamic analytics will be likely added by suggesting workstations or spaces based on previous work patterns

-        Increased inclusion of remote meeting participants in mixed presence meetings to eliminate potential imbalance in collaboration; organisations are exploring more options here eg multiple cameras or digital whiteboards

-        Less space per headcount, more space per work point – most companies in transformation are reducing the number of workstations on average by 20-40% but increasing the amount of space per workstation to allow for a less dense environment

-        Increase in enclosed and semi-enclosed spaces to facilitate virtual and hybrid meetings

-        Spaces are becoming more collaborative; even though offices are still spaces for a blend of individual and team activities; post-COVID workplace shows an allocation of 20-40% for individual settings and 60-80% for a collaborative setting

-        Flexible allocation of team home bases for teams and clusters of teams that can move around

Colliers has developed a ‘Hybrid Working Analytics’ methodology to measure the experiences and collect best practices when people start returning to the office. Based on the organisation’s context and needs different research packages are offered and include activities such as surveys, occupancy tracking, activity measurements, retrospectives and more.

Please see the Developing post-COVID Workplace report attached for more details and analytics and reach out to Jana Vlkova, Head of Workplace Advisory or Petr Zalsky, Head of Office Agency, to find out more about the new workplace dynamics, size and functionality of the Czech offices and the future real estate impact.

You can also try the free Workplace Expert tool to explore the needs of your organisation’s workplace.


Related Experts

Jana Vlkova

Director, Head of Office and Workplace Advisory

Prague

Since August 2019, Director of Workplace Advisory. I joined Colliers in April 2012 to take over the role of Head of Office Agency and in August 2018 I was promoted to the position Director of Business Development. I am  responsible for Occupier Services including Workplace Advisory which is followed by Test Fits, Fit-out design and building process, i.e. following the full occupancy process communicating with our clients including large corporates such as SAP, Microsoft or UniCredit Bank. I closely cooperate also with Office Agency to support the full scope of service connected with office occupancy. 

Prior to joining Colliers, I worked as the Managing Director of Bank Austria Real Invest Asset Management CR. I was responsible for providing full asset management services to internal (Real Invest Europe investment fund) as well as external clients (Pramerica Real Estate Investors). I managed portfolio of 9 properties in Czech Republic as well as Slovakia of the total value close to 200 mil. EUR and lettable area of 100,000 sq.m.

 

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Petr Zalsky

Partner | Office Agency

Prague

Petr is active on the Prague´s real estate market since 2001.

Petr has joined Colliers in 2018 as a Partner  and is part of the office leasing department.  Petr take active role in identifying potential leads, dealing with ongoing transactions and negotiation on behalf of our clients. Petr  offers a consultancy and advisory services to clients: investors, developers and occupiers.

Prior joining Colliers Petr was for 5 years with JLL and  12 years with CA Immo  where he was responsible for the leasing activities of the Prague´s office portfolio which represented approx. 115,000 sqm and consisted of five office buildings.

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