What will offices look like once the pandemic is over? Five quarters of a health crisis later and there is still no clear answer for Warsaw’s office market. Prudent decision-making and waiting to see what happens as observed for the last few quarters on the one hand, with evident landlord flexibility, great expectations as to the vaccination rate in the capital, unfreezing of decision-making processes regarding office leases and the decidedly growing need and desire to return to office working on the other hand. Analysts at BNP Paribas Real Estate discuss the key trends prevailing on the capital’s office market to summarize the second quarter of the year.
The figures for the last quarter do not really reflect the complexity of the situation in which the entire office sector has found itself. Certainly, the crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has actually accelerated certain processes that sooner or later would have had an impact on the direction in which the office sector is going. The difficulty lies in the fact that it is now that we need smart and bold ideas for offices that have to be not only greener and more sustainable, but also healthier, safer, and better thought-out to allow for new working models and styles. We are nearing the end of the era of single-use offices located in single-use zones, and the pandemic showed us where to look for stimuli to create projects and places that are better for employees, thrive on diversity and shape the environment they are set in, while at the same time enabling organizations to meet their business goals.
Małgorzata Fibakiewicz, Head of Business Intelligence Hub, BNP Paribas Real Estate
I believe that the worst is now behind us. We can see that the leasing market looks slightly different in the shadow of the pandemic, with aspects such as office space subleases—previously never broached during negotiations—now brought to the parties’ attention. Some of the processes initiated this year are unquestionably conducted under time pressure, with some being commenced well in advance of expiry of the current lease term. Q2 brought with it a significantly greater number of lease processes to the market, with more tenants viewing their preferred office space. Most importantly, we could see that many companies had already taken steps to analyse their internal needs, and that they were looking at leasing new office space with the aim to make a strategic—and therefore long-term—decision with regard to their organisation.
Mikołaj Laskowski, Head of Office Agency, BNP Paribas Real Estate