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Every company should perform an analysis of whether their office spaces are optimally utilised

“De-cluttering” is an important word in our current society. By responding to this in its daily business activities, a company offers a very important service. Just think for a moment how many (commercial) buildings there are in our country and the management behind them. “The aim of our services is to advise the end user of a building throughout the entire process,” says Annick Vandenbulcke, Head of Occupier Advisory at Colliers.

There are several parameters that show which workplace is suitable. Just think: location, quality, working environment and surface area. Because we shouldn’t be fainthearted about it: since the corona crisis, we have started working in a totally different way. Companies therefore have everything to gain from adapting to this new way of working.

Let’s dwell for a moment on location. A word that is practically sacred in the world of real estate. According to many, everything hinges on location. And they could well be right. After all, what if you are struggling to attract the right profiles because of a less-than-perfect location of your business? Or perhaps it is high time to provide satellite offices so that employees can easily work in offices all over the country? Colliers has the right tools to analyse this, such as “Commute Analysis”.

Location per se is not the only important factor. The size of the office also matters. If all employees suddenly work half the time from home, do you still need so many workplaces? On top of that, the quality of a building plays a big role more than ever. More and more companies have an ESG strategy and want to greatly reduce their CO2 emissions or even work towards a “zero policy”. 

Finally, the working environment also has an impact on employee productivity. More and more companies are (rightly) conducting the exercise to determine whether the office layout is still up to date. Just think of fewer workstations due to a lot of working from home. “Before Covid, an average of eight workstations were provided for 10 employees. Now we see a shift to six workstations for every 10 employees,” Vandenbulcke comments. But equally important are (small) meeting rooms for digital meetings and small bubbles for phone calls. “There is a big shortage of small spaces to make one-on-one calls or conversations. The open office policy has brought this about,” he says. “What we are also seeing is occupied offices being set up so that they can be used as meeting rooms when the main user is not present. That used to be unthinkable,” concludes Vandenbulcke.

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