21 January 2021. More than a third (36.5%) of employees who responded to a recent survey initiated by Genesis Property, to better understand perceptions regarding the return to the office and expectations regarding the office of the future, believe that the entire team within the company they are working for will return to the office this year. Most say that offices have become an important part of their job in the context of Covid-19 and over 57% will evaluate this aspect more closely in the future, when they will seek a new job, shows the survey conducted for Genesis Property, one of the most important class A office developers in Romania, that owns West Gate Business District and Novo Park.
While proximity of the office to their home remains an important factor for most employees (65%), the pandemic year increased the importance of health measures taken in the building (for 51% of respondents) and of the workspace structure, with greater emphasis on delimited offices that facilitate distancing (for 49.3% of respondents). At the same time, 41% say that, from now on, they will carefully evaluate what technologies are available in the workplace to ensure better protection for their health and for the health of their colleagues.
Creating a safer workplace through sanitary measures and advanced technologies designed to limit risks of health threats such as Covid-19 stand at the foundation of The IMMUNE Building Standard™ (IMMUNE™), the first global open-source standard that assesses the resilience of office buildings to health threats. IMMUNE™ includes more than 120 relevant measures that any office building owner or employer in the building can take to improve the immunity of the workplace.
The post-pandemic office: safer and more creative
Looking ahead, in addition to the health measures that more than 60% of respondents to Genesis Property’s survey consider necessary in office buildings today and in the future, many employees believe there is also room for further changes. For example, 52% believe that, in the future, offices should provide employees an integrated work, lifestyle, entertainment, and socializing experience. Another 45% consider that the current situation represents an opportunity for the integration of technologies based on artificial intelligence which can eliminate repetitive and routine activities whilst redefining how they will work in the future. Lastly, 40% want to have the opportunity to work in spaces that give them a better environment to manifest their creativity.
"People increasingly feel the need to interact with colleagues and want to do so in a healthier environment that enhances their skills and creativity. Therefore, the year that has just ended is not only the year of the pandemic, but also the year that triggered changes regarding office life and the way offices will be designed from now on. In this context, IMMUNE™ comes as a solution to diminish health risks and employees’ concerns, so that people can rediscover the office the way it will look in the future”, says Darren Allen, Genesis Property development manager, responsible for implementing the IMMUNE™ project.
The Genesis Property survey regarding the employees' perceptions about the future of offices was conducted in November 2020 through the iVox platform, on a sample of 1,062 internet users across the country, of which almost 60% women and over 70% aged between 25 and 40. 8 out of 10 were employed full-time and approximately 77% held positions that entail office work, in areas such as IT, consulting, finance, energy, real estate, automotive or commerce.