Covid19 has changed our daily life and the way we work, increasing remote working, which seems here to stay but at the same time many companies are looking for larger spaces for employees to return to the office safely.
The impact of teleworking on real estate was discussed during the 22nd Prodexpo, in a panel coordinated by Greekguru.net reporter Stelios Bouras. Dika Agapitidou, Founder and Director of Athens Economics Ltd – JLL Alliance Partner, noted that the hybrid working model is here to stay. She referred to advantages and disadvantages of teleworking, noting the need to renovate workplaces. It is not easy in Greece, she stressed, because we have many old places that we are trying to renovate, but the cost is often prohibitive for investors. Ms. Agapitidou described flexibility as a key word, adding that there is an international trend to change the use of commercial space in homes.
Horatiu Florescou, Chairman and CEO Knight Frank Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia also represented the need for greater flexibility. He pointed out that in south-eastern Europe, many companies are looking for larger spaces for employees to return to the facilities. He estimated that over the next 9 months telecommuting will continue to dominate, but after the summer everyone will return to their office. Mr Florescou also said the pandemic has brought about positive changes, such as better buildings being built to house businesses.
For his part, Dimitris Tsokaktsidis, Managing Director, 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 transformed into an office, creating new links between work and family life. Mr. Tsokaktsidis argued that Greece has many advantages in attracting nomadic workers from other countries.
Michalis Mavroleon, CEO of A&M Architects, spoke about the big changes in the workplace, which began before the pandemic. He stressed that technology accelerates change and that greater flexibility does not necessarily mean higher construction costs for investors and users.