Warsaw, May 21, 2020 – Colliers International, a leading advisory company on the commercial real estate market, has launched the new Back to Work Navigator service. It is aimed to assist tenants and property managers planning their employees’ return to office buildings after a period of strict regulations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. With the new service, they will receive a recommendation from Colliers International’s experts within 48 hours, advising on what solutions to use to ensure safer work in the office.
The global real estate consultancy is using expertise from its Workplace Advisory and Project Management teams, within the EMEA Occupier Services department, to provide, quick, detailed and innovative solutions to maximise office capacity – including cost estimates.
Colliers has established that in most corporate offices only 40-50 per cent of desk spaces will be usable initially when staff return to the office, because social distancing measures will be expected to continue for the next few months. This means that unless significant changes are made to layout and office design, many people will have to remain working remotely for the foreseeable future.
– For responsible employers, the health and well-being of their employees will be a priority when planning a return to the office. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure proper preparation of the work environment – both the space and the rules and procedures in force. Employers must adapt the office layout and mark the space accordingly, to allow a safe distance between employees. Equally important is the proper deployment of personal protective equipment and clear, multi-channel communication that will help employees form new habits. Other activities are also worth considering, e.g. the installation of partitions to separate work stations, the introduction of the one-way-movement rule where applicable, or limiting access to common spaces to minimize the risk of contracting the virus. The situation is changing dynamically, and in addition, each office space has its own specific requirements, which is why we are introducing a quick service that allows us to identify the clients' needs in terms of safe return to the office, and quickly introduce appropriate solutions – says Dorota Osiecka, director of Workplace Innovation in Colliers International Poland.
The Back to Work Navigator service will evaluate five areas where changes can be made to maximise office capacity and support productivity; design, navigation, behaviour, hygiene and technology. The service is available to occupiers as well as landlords needing to plan the reopening of their multi-let office blocks.
Colliers’ will also be able to support businesses in implementing their recommendations, as well as consider the long-term strategy for their offices.
“We expect that COVID-19 will have a long-term impact on the way that we work. We know from our global Working from Home survey that 80 per cent of respondents have said they would like to continue to work remotely at least one day a week. So, after this initial return, it is likely that office spaces permanently change again as they become more focused on bringing people together, whether it’s to work on projects or to build relationships, as opposed to daily locations where we go to do our work”, says JanJaap Boogaard, EMEA Head of Workplace Advisory.