PL

CEE region How to return to the office in good health?

Material partner
Skanska has recently carried out its third survey on the return to the office in four countries – Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary. While previous studies have focused on the needs of employees and their expectations of offices in the new reality, this time Skanska has focused on the impact that the pandemic has had on the employees’ mental health and well-being.

What are the most important findings that came out of this survey? In comparison to previous studies, have you seen any shifting trends when it comes to how employees view the home office or hybrid work?

Karolina Radziszewska, the executive vice-president of HR, Skanska’s office development business unit in the CEE region: We can see that some of the trends have changed in recent months, whereas others have consolidated. The key change has occurred in the perception of the home office by employees. Initially, working from home was not received enthusiastically, mainly because it was imposed suddenly and no one was prepared for it. However, as time passed people began to get used to the new situation and attitudes evolved. Results from a recent study show that employees are increasingly balancing working from home with their private lives better. They know what to do and how to manage their time in order to take advantage of it. While a year ago most employees said that working mainly from home makes it difficult for them to maintain a balance between their private and professional lives, this year the perception has changed and now around 55 pct of respondents say that working from home helps them to maintain this balance. In spite of the fact that employees are now managing their work-life balance better, maybe because they have got used to new situation and established new routines, we shouldn’t forget that the office plays three roles: integrational, culture-creating and team building. Therefore, employers should want their employees to return to offices. The preferred model, however, has not changed. Although in the CEE region more and more people are working exclusively from the office (currently 52 pct vs. 48 pct in May), the preferred model remains hybrid work, combining the possibility of working from the office (3–4 days a week) with working from home.

In this study you surveyed the attitudes of office workers towards mental health issues. Are we now witnessing a cultural change, if employees expect support from their companies in this respect, according to your study?

The fact that employees expect support related to their mental health is very good news, because it shows that this is gradually ceasing to be a taboo subject and discussions on this topic are taking place at work. This study reveals that people are becoming more aware of the impact of their workplace – where they spend a lot of time – on their mental health. Employees are now expecting specific support from companies in the form of individual sessions with a psychologist, as well as training sessions and workshops to be provided on coping with stress and emotions. Among office workers in the CEE region, it was the Polish and Romanian respondents who most often mentioned paid leave due to burnout as their preferred employer support. Therefore, it’s great to see that due to changes in Polish law, from January 2022 employees will be able to receive paid sick leave for professional burnout.

Coming back to offices, how can a physical space help ensure the well-being of employees? Are developers able to fulfil this need when designing a building?
The environment is extremely important for our emotional state, which is why the developer’s role is to provide space that is suited to the different needs of people and that will have a positive impact on them. We know from our experience that everything, from the aesthetics of the office and the choice of the colour palette, through ensuring thermal comfort, to the right spatial arrangement, is important for our mental health. The reason why there’s so much talk about the role of biophilia in office buildings is because greenery not only has a positive effect on the air quality but also calms us down. Developers can have a huge impact on how people are going to feel in their office buildings, so they should listen to these needs and respond to them. The pandemic and the transition to hybrid work models have shown how important it will be to adapt office space to these new needs, in order to provide areas for meetings and interaction, while also, on the other hand, providing a place for individual work or rest.

The office is also a meeting space, and the study shows that working from home has a negative impact on the relationship between employees.

The result of the study confirms the negative impact of working from home on how employees relate to one another should come as no surprise. We already knew that people were able to work individually from home on specific tasks before the pandemic. However, the pandemic made us realise something else, namely how the office plays a key role in building corporate culture, a sense of belonging to the company, integrating employees and enhancing creativity. Finding a way to work effectively in a team is much more difficult when its members are dispersed, not to mention how hard it is to establish the professional relationships that help develop our careers. All the software used to support remote collaboration is good and necessary, but nothing can replace meeting and talking in physical space.

At the beginning of the pandemic, many people felt that the home office had a negative effect on their professional and private lives, as there was no longer any clear boundary between these two spheres. According to your study, an increasing number of people now have a positive attitude towards the home office. What does this mean for employers?

At the beginning of the pandemic, everyone had trouble drawing the boundaries between when work starts and ends. Employees were stressed because they couldn’t function in these new conditions, they felt controlled by their employers, while at the same time they were unsure how the pandemic would affect their professional lives. This created an atmosphere of general tension, in which employees were at home non-stop and didn’t know how to distinguish between work and their private life. It took time for employees to learn to work in the new mode and for employers to trust their employees more. As the overall level of anxiety decreased, everyone saw the advantages of working from home, especially parents who could save time on the daily logistics of balancing work and home responsibilities with their children’s schooling. However, as I mentioned earlier, I’m sure that it’s impossible to effectively manage an employee’s career, build a culture of belonging and create professional relationships only through working from home. We can already see some of the negative effects of not being able to conduct proverbial meetings by the coffee machine. For people recruited during the lockdown, this has had very negative effects. For example, it was more difficult for them to form an idea of the corporate culture that was built when everyone was working in the office. One very interesting issue that research has shown is that employees will be more willing to come into the office if the company holds additional meetings with inspirational people or if they have a well-equipped refrigerator at their disposal to encourage them to spend time eating together.

Based on the results of the survey and your internal experience, does Skanska have any tips for employers on how to take care of their employees’ mental health?

When it comes to how we care for our employees in this area, we offer individual sessions with a psychologist, as well as workshops and training on how to deal with emotions and difficult situations. This year, during Safety Week, together with our Skanska construction unit we held special workshops for managers, thanks to which they learnt how to identify signs of deteriorating mental health – both in themselves and in their employees. Mental health is an important part of our well-being strategy, which we will be implementing from 2022 onwards by providing a series of initiatives related to mental health. Our experience shows that it is also a very good solution for an employee to take longer sabbatical leave, during which we, as the employer, whenever possible support our employees by covering health insurance contributions. This allows employees to take a break from work, find some space for themselves, and at the same time give them the sense of security that they have a place they can return to once they feel better

Latest news

Office & mixed-use development

Poland High tech in Skyliner

schedule 24 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Warsaw's Skyliner has gained a new tenant. Xperi, an American technology company, will occupy nearly 3,000 sqm of space in the office building.

Material partner

Poland Excellent Fern at Off Piotrkowska

schedule 04 April 2024
Eurobuild CEE

Intensive commercialization of the multifunctional Fern building under construction at Off Piotrkowska Center has begun. A modern building, the construction of which will start at the turn of 2024/2025, offers 4,700 sqm of service space and 2,700 sqm of office space.

Retail & leisure

Poland The one and only Answear Concept Store

schedule 24 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

In Warsaw's Norblin Factory, the only stationary Answear.com concept store in Europe started its activity. On the area of 2,000 sqm, the customers will find an offer of premium fashion brands, which so far were available only online.

Events

Poland The sector keeps moving!

schedule 23 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Tomorrow, as every year, we will meet at the golf course in Rajszew and at the Warszawianka courts to build relationships, have fun and, at the same time, take care of the condition of... the industry. All this in the spirit of healthy sporting competition.

Office & mixed-use development

Czech Republic Hila takes off in Prague

schedule 23 May 2024
Opr./edited by JC

Passerinvest Group symbolically launched the construction of the multifunctional Hila building in Brumlovka, Prague 4. Upon its completion in 2027, the building will provide a combination of approximately 20,500 sqm of offices for rent, 71 rental flats and retail spaces of 2000 sqm.

Office & mixed-use development

Hungary Vitrum to be handed over in autumn 

schedule 23 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Liget Center Vitrum, part of Wing Liget Center multi-building project developed by Wing in the centre of Budapest, is structurally complete. The new boutique office be completed in the autumn.

Hotels

Hungary Skybar opens in Budapest

schedule 22 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Cloud IX, Budapest’s latest panoramic skybar, has been opened in the ibis & Tribe Budapest Stadium Hotel in the WING Liberty building. Opened last December in Budapest’s District IX, the hotel complex boasts a total of 332 rooms and a wide range of services.

Investment & finance

Poland Green financing for three CPIPG office assets

schedule 22 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

CPI Property Group Poland has concluded a green refinancing transaction with Aareal Bank amounting to more than EUR 277 mln. The funds received will be used for the refinancing of three Warsaw office properties: Warsaw Financial Center, Equator IV and Eurocentrum.

Office & mixed-use development

Poland Mercer isn't moving out

schedule 22 May 2024
Opr./edited by JC

Global firm Mercer, part of the Marsh McLennan Group, has renegotiated its lease at the myhive Nimbus building and remains at 7,300 sqm.

Residential

Poland First residential units in Towarowa 22 project

schedule 22 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

The residential part of the Towarowa 22 project in Warsaw is taking off. Archicom is starting to sell flats in the first building under the Archicom Collection brand, which will stand in the immediate vicinity of the planned park.

Residential

Romania Phase III of The Level Apartments takes off

schedule 22 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Romanian residential developer Redport Capital has announced the start of construction of Phase III of The Level Apartments. The project has received a building permit for 105 apartments to be developed with an investment of EUR 13 mln.

Warehouse & industrial

Poland CTP will build for dogs

schedule 22 May 2024
Opr./edited by JC

CTP has been appointed by dog food manufacturers PsiBufet and Butternut Box to build a specialist facility to produce fresh dog food for distribution across continental Europe. The new facility is being developed in a build-to-suit model at CTPark Zabrze.

Warehouse & industrial

Panattoni Park Kraków East IV is ready

schedule 22 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Panattoni has completed the construction of Panattoni Park Kraków East IV. The completion will be financed with a EUR 10.5 mln loan from Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego. The facility has been fully leased by Omega Pilzno.

Office & mixed-use development

Poland Batory I is fully let

schedule 21 May 2024
Opr./edited by JC

ZST (Zintegrowane Systemy Techniczne) has increased the size of its head office in the Batory I office building. As a result of the expansion, the Warsaw office building owned and managed by Globalworth Poland is now fully leased. 

Office & mixed-use development

Poland Some Oxygen for IT company

schedule 21 May 2024
Opr./edited by JC

LSI Software, a provider of IT systems that enhance operations and business management, has become a new tenant of the Oxygen Park office complex in Warsaw.

Warehouse & industrial

Poland New park from Panattoni

schedule 20 May 2024
Opr./edited by JC

Panattoni is launching the construction of a new speculative centre in the Łódź region. The project is to have an eventual size of close to 30,000 sqm

Office & mixed-use development

Poland Baskerville gets independent

schedule 20 May 2024
Opr./edited by JC

Baskervill, an international architectural, engineering, and design firm, opened up its office in Gdańsk. A 200-sqm space is located in Officyna building.

Office & mixed-use development

Poland House of Skills is staying at Bolero

schedule 20 May 2024
Opr./edited by JC

Consulting and Training Consortium, owner of House of Skills and e-learning.pl brands, has extended its lease at Bolero Office Point 1 in Warsaw. The new lease agreement provides the entire organization with 900 sqm of office space that has been signed through 2030.

Warehouse & industrial

Romania Cargus opens its new hub in Sibiu

schedule 17 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

CTP expands its partnership with Cargus, a courier company in Romania, with the inauguration of a new location in Sibiu.

Office & mixed-use development

Poland UBC II will be modern again

schedule 17 May 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Atenor, the Belgian developer responsible for the Lakeside development in Warsaw's Mokotów district, intends to renovate the neighbouring UBC II building. The project received planning permission in March this year.

Latest in Material partner

schedule 02 May 2024

Nordbygg 2024: Many innovations and strong interest

Last week, Nordbygg, Northern Europe’s biggest trade fair for professionals in construction and real estate industry, took place at Stockholmsmässan in Ävsjö, Sweden. 35,000 visitors attended which, combined with the 5,000 people on the stands, gives a total of 40,000 participants. New features for Nordbygg 2024 included the strong involvement of the City of Stockholm and a popular online app.

schedule 21 March 2024

New opportunities emerge in uncertain times

Over 20,000 delegates representing 90 countries gathered in Cannes for the 34th edition of MIPIM, the global urban festival that brings investors, political leaders and the real estate community together to facilitate relationships and find solutions to the challenges facing the built environment.

schedule 07 March 2024

Silesia invites you to Cannes!

We would like to invite you to the meeting: "Explore Silesia: Where Economic Resilience Meets Opportunity!", held at MIPIM this Wednesday. Silesia and its metropolise are one of the fastest growing and most innovative regions in Europe. During the discussion, the roots of its success and specific future prospects will be discussed.

schedule 12 February 2024

Challenges accepted at MIPIM!

The premier real estate fair of the year is now fast approaching! On March 11–15th, at its usual grand venue of the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, MIPIM will welcome delegations from more than 90 countries to take part in an extended four-day programme of speeches, panels, awards and networking

schedule 15 November 2023

In business, we focus on long-term partnerships

Michał Ptaszyński, Country Manager Poland, Logicor, tells us optimistically about the future of the logistics industry in Poland, the company's upcoming investment plans and explain why it is worth cooperating with local communities

schedule 29 September 2023

Łódź invites you to Munich!

We cordially invite all guests of this year's Expo Real to the events organized at the stand of the Łódź City Hall, "Eurobuild" will also be there as a media patron.

schedule 25 September 2023

Grounded in experience

Justyna Cymerman, the head of the urban planning department of land transaction consultancy Greenfields, and Michał Różycki, its director of the land department – living sector, tell us about the company’s greatest achievements, the state of the market, and what needs to happen next to tackle the housing shortage

schedule 06 July 2023

A solid relationship for years

Operational and financial systems supporting property managers are constantly expanding and changing to keep up with changing market needs. Good relationships between providers and users of these systems and a willingness to face challenges together remain invaluable.

schedule 13 April 2023

Land is the key to success but requires skills

Warsaw is one of the most affordable capitals in the European Union to live in. In order to maintain its competitiveness, it is crucial to expand the availability of plots

schedule 22 December 2022

Biuro Na Miarę - more comprehensive, across Poland

The company has been strengthening its position on the commercial real estate market as a specialist consultancy providing comprehensive tenant and landlord services.

schedule 02 August 2022

New ESG Report – Atrium

Atrium European Real Estate has published its 6th ESG report summarising the company's achievements in 2021. The report details the key initiatives involved in the implementation of the its ESG strategy. The company has set new and even more ambitious medium-term targets for 2030, which include a 40 pct reduction in the carbon footprint of its shopping centres by 2030, compared to 2019 levels. By 2050, Atrium wants to have become a carbon-neutral organisation.

schedule 15 June 2022

Power is in people

SKJB Szybkowski Kuźma Jeleń Brzoza-Ostrowska is a Polish boutique legal practice that’s not only celebrating its 5th birthday this year but also its listing on the Legal 500 ranking.

schedule 04 April 2022

Coworking in Atlas Tower

In the times of uncertainty due to the pandemic situation worldwide and restrictions connected with that, co-working spaces and offices are gaining more and more popularity amongst potential tenants. Flexibility of renting terms plus tax law support for new entrepreneurs are things highly needed for small and medium businesses and these come in handy when cooperating with Twój Startup foundation.

schedule 22 March 2022

Tricity attracts with its Scandinavian climate

It will soon be two years since the first COVID-19 cases appeared in Poland. What can be said about the current condition of the office market in our country?

schedule 01 February 2022

How to return to the office in good health?

Skanska has recently carried out its third survey on the return to the office in four countries – Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary. While previous studies have focused on the needs of employees and their expectations of offices in the new reality, this time Skanska has focused on the impact that the pandemic has had on the employees’ mental health and well-being.

schedule 08 November 2021

Sustainable attraction

"Our research shows that 65 pct of employees in the CEE region want to work in a certified sustainable office. We expect that tenants will opt to migrate to new buildings that suit their needs better", admits Paweł Warda of Skanska Commercial Development Europe

schedule 20 October 2021

MAPIC returns to Cannes

MAPIC 2021 will be held at the Palais des Festivals from Tuesday, the 30th of November, to Thursday, the 2nd December, 2021

schedule 31 August 2021

It's a comfortable life

Ziv Zviel, the CEO of Atlas Estates, tells ‘Eurobuild’ about the company’s plans for the residential sector, top investments and the future of the market

Edition 5 (288) May 2024

Latest comments

Categories