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Remote working boosts need for flexibility in real estate

Covid19 brought major upheavals to our daily lives and the way we work, increasing remote work, which looks here to stay but at the same time many companies are looking for larger spaces for employees to return safely to the office.

The impact of telework on real estate was discussed at the 22nd Prodexpo, in a panel coordinated by journalist Stelios Bouras. Dika Agapitidou, Founder and Director Athens Economics Ltd - JLL Alliance Partner, noted that the hybrid work model is here to stay. She referred to the advantages and disadvantages of teleworking, noting the need for remodeling workplaces.This is not easy in Greece, she highlighted, as we have many old places that we are trying to remodel, but often the cost is prohibitive for investors. Ms. Agapitidou described flexibility as a key word, adding that there is an international trend of changing the use of commercial space in homes.

Horatiu Florescou, Chairman & CEO Knight Frank Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia also stood for the need for greater flexibility. He stressed that in SE Europe many companies are looking for larger spaces for employees to return to the facilities. He estimated that in the next 9 months teleworking will continue to dominate, but after the summer everyone will return to their offices. Mr Florescou also said the pandemic had brought about positive changes, such as better buildings beoing built to house companies.

On his part, Dimitris Tsokaktsidis, General Manager, Pointers Property Services SA, pointed out that teleworking allows people to leave the city center and move to a suburb or another city. As he said, the house can be turned into an office, creating new ties between work and family life. Mr. Tsokaktsidis argued that Greece has many advantages to attract working nomads from other countries.

Michalis Mavroleon, Chairman & CEO of A & M Architects, spoke about big changes in the workplace, which started before the pandemic. He stressed that technology is speeding up changes and more flexibility does not necessarily mean higher building costs for investors and users.

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