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OFFICE 2020: WHAT’S NEXT AFTER COVID-19?

HOW WILL THE ROMANIAN OFFICE MARKET LOOK LIKE AFTER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?

The everyday personal and professional life have both been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in a radical and unexpected way, and the general opinion is that its influence and effects will have repercussions on how people live and work, even after the medical situation will be stabilized.

Tomorrow, 22nd April, starting at 10 am, Mihai Zaharia, Director of Investments and Capital Markets at Globalworth, will take part in an online debate organized by the real estate consulting company Cushman & Wakefield Echinox and the law firm Dentons about how the post-COVID19 office sector will look like.

Several factors will determine the magnitude of the future changes, such as the period of suspended activity for most occupiers, the tenants’ ability to absorb the impact caused by the restricted business, as well as the employees’ daily behavior changes, that are nowadays mostly testing the work from home schedule.

Given the fact that the professional activity after COVID-19 depends on a number of dynamic factors, still difficult to be evaluated, there will be debated a series of topics such as:

- What will be the return to the office after COVID-19? Will the employers perceive the work from home as an opportunity, or, on the contrary, they will try to return to the business model from before the crisis?

- What measures could be implemented in the future leasing contracts to prevent the negative effects of a possible new event like COVID-19?

- How big will be the impact of COVID-19 on the leasing transaction volume? Will we see a strong relaunch of the market or, on the contrary, a period of investment reluctance?

- How big will the impact be on the office pipeline?

- How will be changed the activity of Property Managers? Will there be taken additional cleaning/disinfection/sanitary safety–air filters measures?

- How will the layout of office space be affected? Will the open space component be reduced and will compact individual offices be preferred, to reduce the fear of contamination?

- How will the offer of services (restaurants, for example) be reconfigured at the office buildings' ground floor? Will the restaurants have to reconfigure their space to reduce the dining area and expand their kitchens to meet an increasing number of online orders for delivery, or will they keep the same layout?

- How big will the impact be on the coworking industry? These spaces offer the most flexibility, but they are also the most vulnerable in such a situation, taking into account the short period and unilateral termination of contracts.

- Will tenants opt for more flexible working and communication solutions, such as laptops and tablets, if there will be a higher pressure on mobility?

- Will there be additional pressure for the number of parking spaces provided by office buildings, given that some employees could avoid, at least temporarily, the means of public transportation, in order to protect their health?