The Future of Offices – Webinar with ISG, Colliers and Gensler
Together with Dr Tobias Dichtel, Co-Head of Market Intelligence & Foresight Germany at Colliers, and Astrid Eberle, Project Director at Gensler, Harry Tettinger shed light on the question of how offices can be made fit for the future and what role interior fit-out plays in this.
Between ageing and falling demand for office space
Up to 69 per cent of German office properties in the top 7 cities are threatened by obsolescence. The urgent need for modernisation poses a huge challenge for the property sector - both logistically and financially. New buildings cannot meet the growing demand for modern, ESG-compliant office properties that meet New Work standards. Extensive refurbishments are in demand.
At the same time, employees' expectations of their working environment have risen dramatically. The feel-good factor, the technical infrastructure and, last but not least, the location play a decisive role in the choice of employer. Companies must position themselves optimally in the "war for talents".
The pandemic has triggered another fundamental change: the widespread introduction of working from home. The majority of market players agree that working from home for one to two days a week will be the new norm, meaning that the overall space requirement will remain lower than before the pandemic.
To summarise: the work and office landscape is currently undergoing the most radical change in decades.
This is why the interior fit out of office properties is booming. Regardless of the industry - whether banks, pharmaceutical or tech companies - employers are moving in the direction of the new world of work in order to make it more attractive for employees. This is also reflected in the company's success, as our study "The Power of Place" shows: Employees are more productive in offices that they rate as "good". Customer satisfaction also increases and innovative strength and employee loyalty are positively influenced in comparison to workplaces that are rated as "not good".
The aim should not only be to acquire new employees, but also to retain existing ones. In concrete terms, this means designing offices in such a way that they are fit for the future. ESG plays no small role in this.
This is not only an important factor for employees, but also for the customers of the respective tenants. Tettinger continues: "We are therefore looking closely at the questions: What material is used and how is it utilised? Can it be fed back into the value creation cycle as part of the revitalisation?"
Wood is the material of choice. For the acoustic design, for example, wall and ceiling panels are made of wood and the building material is also used for the furniture. "Warm tones create the feel-good atmosphere that many employees want from their workplace," explains Tettinger.
Many companies shy away from investing in office space for cost reasons, among others. However, the results of our study "The Power of Place" show that this is worthwhile in the long term: companies that neither invested in their office space nor enabled flexible working in 2022 recorded an increase in turnover of 0.5 per cent, while the turnover of companies that both invested and enabled flexible working increased by 23.5 per cent.