Almost 50% of employees across Central and Southern Europe prefer a combination of working from home and working in the office. This is one of the key findings from our Work from Home survey. We also arrived at similar findings within CBRE when, at the beginning of 2020, we were resolving whether to stay in the current premises or move to new offices. Even back then, it was already clear from our employees’ responses that the new offices would have to reflect the “hybrid” model of work. After a thorough analysis, the decision was made to stay and thanks to the reconstruction of the offices, we created new places to work, namely coworking, which is suitable for meeting with colleagues and what we call the Library, which is designed for work requiring more concentration.
Flexibility in work and decision-making is crucial
The restrictions that were part of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the emergence of new trends in the office environment. The hybrid work model, combining the best of work in the office and at home
, is in line with CBRE's “Freedom of Choice”
policy. This policy gives employees flexibility when choosing a place within the office as well as independence when working from home.
The aforementioned shared workplaces are nothing new for our employees. Thus, when designing the new offices, our specialists focused on the diversity of the work environment
, the technical preparedness for hybrid cooperation and, last but not least, on sustainability. We tried it out on ourselves when our experts worked together in a beautiful synergy on strategies for working environments
, interior design
and project management
. And how did it all turn out?
A cure for a lack of peace and quiet for work requiring concentration? The closed Library
A lack of space for quiet and focused work. This was the most common problem for our employees that was revealed by our internal research
. Closed offices designed for quiet and undisturbed work began to be used more for online meetings and there were fewer spaces where colleagues who needed to concentrate in peace could work undisturbed.
"When designing the new working environment strategy for our colleagues, we took a long time to work with the team to help those who prefer peace of mind over a busier open space. We decided to allocate part of the space for the Library, which has the same rules as other libraries. The focus is on peace and quiet so the employees can concentrate to the utmost and if they need to make a call, they can use the telephone boxes, one of which is suitable for two people,"
The Library, as we call the space, was designed in accordance with the latest trends. The space brings together a modern design, flexibility, as well as a range of innovative technologies and processes. Employees can reserve their space through an application that not only sees which places are available, but also the temperature, humidity and CO2 in a given location thanks to sensors. The room is also designed as a meeting room for large meetings with clients or workshops for employees. This is why there are cameras that take in the entire room as well as microphones that capture everything that is discussed in the given meeting.
There is no shortage of interaction in coworking
In the case of more frequent work from home, social contacts with colleagues are lost, we lose joint interaction, which can lead, for instance, to new ideas and teamwork. At CBRE, we place an emphasis on cooperation across teams and thus this obstacle had to be overcome. And this gave rise to coworking, the opposite of the Library.
An open zone, full of designer furniture, modern technologies and other gadgets with comfortable chairs, where colleagues can exchange current insights, organise an internal meeting that doesn’t need to be behind closed doors, or an informal meeting with a client can be held here.
Would you like to find out more about the hybrid work model or need help with modifying your offices? Feel free to contact our colleague Filip Muška, who will go over the opportunities your office offers with you and advise you on their optimal configuration.