Flexible workspace – the office of the new era
The office environment is entering a new era and this raises some questions for landlords of business centers, property managers, investors, tenants, consultants, namely all actors involved in real estate/Global trends show that companies` employees are beginning to return to the workspace in a corporate environment, even if this happens gradually and includes opportunities for a hybrid model of work.
What exactly do we mean when we talk about flexible workspaces? Are these the possibilities for flexible rent and adaptable lease terms – customized to different term periods or according to the changes in the rented space? More often than ever, the focus is on the mental and physical health of the employees, clients, and partners who visit the office. In the new business vocabulary, „flexibility“ means „adaptability“ and combines the atmosphere and the overall feeling of being “in the office”. This is the connection between concentration during the work process, comfort, and healthy living. Safety during work is a priority for companies, but also for large business centers that are looking for solutions to meet the requirements of the post-epidemic social order.
„In this new age, we are talking about a new way of thinking. – Eric Assimakopoulos, the managing partner of Revetas Capital, real estate investment advisor for Fund II portfolio which includes Sofia Airport Center, is certain – Communication with the team in online chat rooms cannot be fully rewarding. People need to see each other, to interact. As a team, we are working on many joint projects and ideas, and it is very difficult to do through the creative process only via the screen. We can’t build relationships through the screen only. The relationships that a person creates in the workplace are essential for his/her future realization. Young employees want to develop, and that depends on the way we mentor and train them. As they move on to their career ladder, they will continue to nurture those relationships, relationships that continue to live in a time and this is how we build our social network. That can’t happen if we don’t come face to face with the people on our team.“
He adds: “The new office reality has to be tackled from three different perspectives: technology, design and environmental solutions. As real estate experts, we have the responsibility to provide those solutions, to demonstrate our commitment to tenants, and flexibility translates into what you can give to your clients and their employees throughout the entire complex. The office environment should be an environment that is as close to the home environment, that incorporates nature, outdoor areas, an environment that enables people to act more naturally and to have the option to work outside of their cubicle. SAC is uniquely positioned to offer these conditions to employees, due to its positioning, the green surroundings and the technological and design transformations that we have started in the business park”.
Three projects are currently under construction and are expected to be finalized by end of the year. These include the activation of the common area in Building A2, enhancing the park area by adding additional gazebos, and building an open-air gym, thus creating 150 mobile workstations. Eric Assimakopoulos specifies that thanks to the transformation of the areas while having 1,500 employees in the building at the same time, the density in the office can be reduced by up to 10%.
One of the greenest business complexes in Sofia has a park with gazebos, an outdoor gym in construction, and other amenities serving the needs of the tenants. Employees are exempted from the obligation to work only from their room or desk. The corporate environment is no longer strictly working. The synchronization between technological and design solutions for adaptation helps to effectively utilize the environment in the workplace. It involves a touch of nature, which increases productivity, focus, and concentration. Employees can go outside, work in the gazebos in the open, surrounded by greenery and fresh air. Every area of this space is technologically assured in order to be operationally effective.
The Flex-R lounge is the interior realization of the innovative solutions developed by Sofia Airport Center. The project is planned to be completed and operational by July. It includes adding numerous workstations around the premise, green features, and a home feeling ambiance. Incorporating innovative concepts, the business center is setting trends that will make the office experience more fulfilling. “This is part of the challenges of the new reality – it needs new inspiring ideas and leaders who have the courage to make them happen” concludes Eric Assimakopoulos.