Open space is no longer the “chicken farm” it used to be

Smart solutions should be aimed at increasing the comfort of people working in offices.

Martin NeštepnýMartin Neštepný (Source: Courtesy of HB Reavis)

Offices will not return to what they used to be before Covid-19. Home office will remain widespread and hybrid work styles will become standard. Digitisation will make working in offices more comfortable and effective, says office space expert Martin Neštepný.

The Slovak Spectator interviewed Neštepný, head of Smart Workspace Design & Solutions department at the HB Reavis developer and international workspace provider, about how offices have been adapting to the impacts of the pandemic and climate change, what changes may increase the satisfaction and wellbeing of employees and what offices will look like in the near future.

The Slovak Spectator (TSS): How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the demands of office tenants?

Martin Neštepný (MN): When the pandemic was new to everyone, companies needed to provide space for those who could not work from home, using compartment separators, cleaning techniques and other measures adhering to health protection regulations. Social distancing began to be applied, also resulting in lower density in offices. It used to be around 6 square metres per person, today it is 10 to 11 square metres, almost twice as much as before the pandemic. The office layout has not changed much due to the pandemic. The trend of adapting the space to the organisation that uses it, which is now more visible, had started before. Today, there is just more emphasis on understanding the functioning of the office space user.

TSS: How does climate change affect the office segment? How do developers building new office spaces respond to this challenge?

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