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What Are Office Occupiers' Requirements?

Vacancy rate will increase, but tenants will remain active - says CBRE's latest report.

CBRE's latest report called "What's Next – Office Occupiers Survey 2013" presents crucial trends in the office sector. The survey was conducted among Warsaw companies, but according to CBRE the results are also relevant for regional cities.

The report indicates that occupiers of office space in Poland continue to increase employment. However, the vacancy rate in largest cities is expected to grow. The experts point out to new trends in office space design, and the preference for the type of arrangement known as "innovative office".

The vacancy rate is rising due to a high amount of speculative office space under construction. Consequently, the situation will be very advantageous for the tenants, who will have a wide variety of choices when it comes to finding new premises and will be given a stronger bargaining chip when negotiating with developers. The report informs also that despite the slowdown of GDP growth in Poland, 42% of surveyed companies are still planning to increase employment. Therefore, CBRE experts believe that demand for office space should remain high.

Taking the growing competition among office space developers into consideration, adapting the technical specification of office buildings to the needs of potential tenants is going to be the key factor in the nearest future. From the users’ point of view, the most important elements of a building’s standard include large floor-planes, sufficient lighting of space and flexibility of the office layout. Due to an uncertain economic outlook, financial concerns tremendous impact on the decisions about choosing the location of a business. Tenants pay particular attention to office space rent levels and service charges. - says Konrad Heidinger, Consultant At the Research and Consultancy Department, CBRE Inc and the author of the report.

According to the research, typical office space layout is undergoing changes. These include the growing importance of wireless technologies, rising mobility of employees and increasing task-oriented character of work. Consequently,  the evolution towards the innovative office layout, in which the most mobile workers are not assigned to particular workstations,  is becoming more and more popular. Such workers take any available desk upon arriving at the office. The space that is saved thanks to this solution, it is possible to create places for meetings and relaxation. According to the report, "it dominates in the offices of 61% of the respondents", whilst "[t]he closed space layout is the major one for 34% of respondents currently adopt closed-plan layouts".

Workplace consultancy is an established business line in more developed property markets and there is clearly a need for this service to be provided in Poland in the near future. Not only to support occupiers in determining their spatial needs but also to advise developers to ensure that new properties can accommodate the more flexible ways of working of their tenants as well as having the capacity in technical installations. The difficult economic environment as well as the slow reaction of the property market to occupier demands has created a very dynamic situation. - comments Jonathan Steer, Director, Building Consultancy, CBRE.

CBRE experts observe the tendency towards "green" building. However, tenants are not willing to pay higher rents for certified space only if it is not related to measurable profits.

To meet the latest trends, developers will need to reconsider the standard product that they are putting on the market and occupiers will be forced to undertake a deeper analysis of their methods of working and how this translates into their office space needs. - sums up Jonathan Steer.

Below you will find the full version of the report in a PDF file.

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