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Demand for external meeting rooms will take time to return

Jan Szulborski • 07/10/2021

The survey conducted by global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield shows that nearly three-fourths of the respondents are not interested in hiring meeting spaces from external providers. They tend to hold events online or in their own offices.
“While we are already witnessing an increase in business meetings and events, a return to pre-pandemic activities will be a protracted process. We expect the demand for such spaces to pick up gradually in the coming months,” says Jan Szulborski, Senior Consultant, Consulting & Research, Cushman & Wakefield.

Nevertheless, some tenants (11%) still prefer to hire professional meeting spaces for industry meetings, events, workshops or conferences.

“The survey findings show that there is a large group of tenants who are not interested in hiring meeting spaces from external providers. It is likely to become a new post-pandemic trend to hold business meetings online or in your own office. Flexible spaces with conference rooms featuring mobile walls and audio-visual systems enable tenants to host even larger events in their own offices. The skill acquired during the pandemic of conducting video calls via communication platforms will probably continue to be used on a large scale. Some tenants, however, still prefer to hire professional spaces as they are ideal for industry meetings, events, workshops and conferences,” comments Kamil Kwiecień, Senior Property Manager, Cushman & Wakefield.

“Many surveys carried out for our clients on the use of larger meeting rooms in offices have shown that such premises are among the least efficient use of office space. They are very often used by far fewer people than originally designed. At most companies over 80-90% of all meetings are held in groups of up to five people. For new projects, especially if an office complex has a conference centre, we advise against designing large meeting rooms, unless this is contrary to corporate guidelines. Despite the small percentage (11%) of tenants interested in hiring meeting rooms, I am confident that office complexes offering such space will gain popularity going forward,” says Aleksander Szybilski, Leader of Workplace Strategy, Associate Director, Office Department, Cushman & Wakefield.

The survey was conducted using the CAWI method in June 2021 on a sample of 132 decision-makers in office space management (CEOs, Heads of Administration, Chief Operating Officers and Office Managers) in buildings under the management of Cushman & Wakefield. 

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