The office panel of the Real Estate & Construction Forum 2021 event, organized by Business Mark, discussed the problems facing the office segment in the current context, but also about the future prospects.
Mark Oancea, General Manager of Vox Technology Park:
Adaptability is an element that defines us, we are also a company within the VOX group with a great emphasis on innovation and technology, so challenges become opportunities. We tried to reposition ourselves, and we consider our customers as partners, we better understood their needs and thus we managed not to lose customers, but even to bring new customers in 2020.
The entire lease process has been revised and we understood that the business strategies of current or future tenants are not stopped, they are just on hold and the speed with which they develop has changed. We also notice a decrease in rental terms, because no one wants to assume long terms, or if they do, they negotiate at break option terms. Regarding the rented spaces, flexibility in the sizing of the spaces was essential. I don’t think there is a single solution related to how you succeed today in the office segment, but there are a combination of several solutions and a flexibility in approaching the client and trying to satisfy his needs now.
In terms of employees, including pre-pandemic companies, offered flexibility and the ability to work remotely, which has now become virtually normal. The number of employees coming to the offices has started to increase, but this also depends on the specifics of the activity, for example R&D and engineering are not suitable for the WHF system.
Today we are not facing a financial crisis, the pandemic is a health crisis. Obviously, there are sectors affected, such as HoReCa, but there are other areas that have had an unprecedented growth during this period. Among our tenants, there are those that are expanding, because their business has grown and there is a need to expand the space for teams, are companies from abroad, for which Romania is becoming more attractive, especially in the West, due to infrastructure and there are still players who during this period took advantage of the more advantageous conditions of relocation and negotiation.
In the future, as a developer you always have to plan and prepare your business strategy in advance. Innovation and technology have always been part of our strategy, the pandemic has only exacerbated its adoption. On a personal level, however, you can’t really determine where a comfortable employee feels from a health point of view. We rely on technology, on redefining common spaces, on the trend of creating a community, together with the integration of digital solutions to create comfort and trust for employees.