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Revolution or evolution - how do Poles use offices today?


What do workers want from the office today? More than half of respondents expect free parking and easy commutes under 15 minutes. Despite the implementation of desk sharing in many companies, 62% of workers still have assigned desks. It is noteworthy that more than half of workers have a positive view of the design and functionality of an office building. Of additional amenities provided by office buildings and valued by users, F&B facilities were important to almost a third of survey respondents.

Although recent months have seen the use of various working models stabilize and most employees do come to the office, companies need to skilfully modify their work environment strategies and to track employee expectations.

The lockdown experience of 2020 has not brought about a lasting revolution – a vast majority of employees still use the office, with employers committed to ensuring that it strengthens their organisational culture and fosters integration and collaboration. The pandemic has, however, provided an impetus to rethink workspaces, with a growing number of companies consciously wanting to develop workplace strategies. This is why analysis of office user experience (UX) is so important,” explains Mariola Bitner, Head of Workplace Strategy, Cushman & Wakefield. 
Convenience, bespoke arrangements and intuitive solutions implemented in office buildings have a growing impact on the operations of companies and attracting top talent.

Location still top of mind

According to a survey commissioned by Cushman & Wakefield, more than half of Polish respondents would value an office building for free parking, commutes under 15 minutes, a prime location and high-quality infrastructure in its neighbourhood. Next were F&B facilities in the building, a fast and accessible lift and professional and polite staff.

Those living in the largest cities in particular value their time highly and do not want to waste it commuting to and from the office. This is why there is such strong demand for best-connected office buildings in central locations providing access to a wide range of F&B facilities and services. Our MarketBeat report summarising the first quarter of 2024 on the Warsaw office market shows that tenants are still firmly focused on office optimisation, with a year-on-year increase of 4% in the number of leases signed but a lower total take-up volume. At the same time, the vacancy rate in central Warsaw fell by 3.4 pp over the year to 9.6% as development activity remained subdued,” says Ewa Derlatka-Chilewicz, Head of Research, Cushman & Wakefield.

Users give positive reviews to offices

Employees surveyed by Cushman & Wakefield generally have a positive opinion of the buildings and offices they use. 51% say that their office building is well-designed and offers convenience of use, with 30% feeling neutral.

The report’s findings on office user experience have confirmed our observations that, unfortunately, there is still a lot to be done in terms of adapting office buildings to the needs of people with disabilities. Only 37% of respondents have rated them well and as many as 30% strongly believe that the design and internal layout of their office building are clearly inadequate for people with disabilities,” adds Mariola Bitner.

Office space should be intuitive to navigate and simple - in the positive sense of the word - and enable its users to customise it to their individual needs, says the report.

Office users have very diverse needs, with more than half (54%) admitting that they access only the space leased by their companies and that the communal areas of an office building are less important to them. In addition, 48% say that upon entering a building they usually want to get to their office and start work as soon as possible without being distracted by anything. On the other hand, 45% of respondents go to a restaurant or a café in their office building at least once a month and 36% access shops and other amenities. Around a third also access break-out spaces and gyms,” says Joanna Blumert, Head of Occupier Services, Cushman & Wakefield.

The integrative role of the office

Office user experience is impacted both by the practicality and ergonomics of building solutions and by working relationships with colleagues, as well as additional activities and benefits provided by the property manager and the employer.

As many as 82% of employees are happy to meet their team in person rather than virtually, with 44% feeling so often or always. This is an important incentive for employees working hybrid to come to the office. Half of respondents also sometimes feel sad to see few people in the office. The presence of others is important because according to 71% of those surveyed it sometimes motivates them further to deliver better performance. More than half of respondents appreciate attractions organised in their office building and the office. This is important guidance for employers and office building managers to be aware of,” says Mariola Bitner.

More information on the positive and negative office user experiences and the most frequently used means of communication can be found in the report.


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