Bucharest, December 2020: The occupancy costs of office spaces represent, on average, between 3 and 4% of the turnover of services companies in Bucharest, and they may fall even below 2%, in some cases, according to an analysis of the real estate consultancy company Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.
The analysis takes into account the results from 2019 achieved by companies in various fields, such as software development, advertising agencies, IT consulting, engineering and technical consulting, business support services, accounting and financial audit, architecture or real estate agencies.
The analyzed companies, whose revenues are mainly generated from work performed in office spaces, achieved in 2019 a total turnover of 8 billion euros, with about 112,000 employees and an average productivity of 70,000 euros per employee. The occupancy cost of the office spaces for these companies, consisting of rent, service and utilities tax, was estimated at 255 million euros per year, the equivalent of about 190 euros / employee / month.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, which imposed a series of social distancing rules to limit the spread of the virus, companies implemented procedures for working from home for most employees, reducing the physical occupancy of offices to the level of 35 – 40%. Given that the new working model has come up with a number of challenges, but also with benefits, most companies are currently analyzing how they will operate on the medium and long term, while they carefully monitor the productivity evolution and reanalyze the occupancy costs.
Mădălina Cojocaru, Partner, Office Agency, Cushman & Wakefield Echinox: “The analyzed data shows us that the restriction of working from the office, imposed by the social distancing rules, can be harmful, endangering the employees’ productivity, social needs or the necessity for diversity, to learn and achieve new things. The employees who worked from home adapted to the current context and sought to perform in an exceptional situation, perceiving it, in most cases, as a temporary phase. In a scenario where remote working would be widely adopted on the medium and long term, we believe that the productivity indicator would definitely be put up to a test, and a decrease of only 5% would practically completely cancel the reduction of cots generated by the eventual cease of office workspaces.”
At the same time, the Cushman & Wakefield Echinox consultants point out that part of the occupancy costs of office spaces were “transferred” during this period to the employees’ account, and they were therefore put in the situation to pay higher utility bills and even invest in office furniture or more spacious homes, in order to carry out their professional activity at home.
Bucharest has a modern stock of office spaces for lease of over 2.9 million square meters, where about 260,000 employees worked before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a quarter of the employees in the Capital. The owners of these spaces have an annual turnover of about 600 million euros from the lease and administration of these spaces. In addition to the services companies included in the analysis, in these office spaces there are banks, insurance companies or law firms also operating, as well as the management and support teams of energy, industry, pharma or trade companies.
Cushman & Wakefield Echinox is a top real estate consulting company on the local market and the exclusive affiliate of Cushman & Wakefield in Romania, owned and operated independently. The asset services department of the company manages the largest portfolio of properties in Romania, providing property management services for office buildings, industrial parks and retail projects, totaling over 410,000 square meters, both in Bucharest and in major cities of Romania. The team of over 60 professionals and collaborators offers a full range of services to investors, developers, landlords and tenants.
Cushman & Wakefield, one of the global leaders in commercial real estate services, with 53,000 employees in over 60 countries and € 8.8 billion in revenue, provides asset and investment management consulting services, capital markets, leasing, properties administration, tenant representation, design and evaluation services. For more information, visit www.cushmanwakefield.com