In 2022, Parella supported the companies Butagaz and Sextant Expertise, which decided to move to a flex-office. This enabled them to give back nearly half of their surface areas.
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To accurately measure the impact of this decrease in m², a number of parameters must be taken into account. If the number of workstations decreases, collaborative spaces dedicated to formal and informal exchanges should not be neglected. If employees come to the office, it is to see each other.
A desire for centrality
The budgetary pressure on companies is nowadays strong for a majority of them. However, the optimization of space allows many to "afford the luxury" of improving their location and the accessibility of their offices. Also, this arbitration is often motivated by the desire to retain talent in a more demanding working world. As well as the desire to offer a nice showcase to their clients.
Most of the demand for office space has been in "central" areas. For example, in 2022, Paris will account for 47%** of the volume placed in Île-de-France, compared with 38% in 2019**.
An increased need for agility
COVID has undeniably shaken the certainties of some and others about the future. More and more General Management teams are putting flexibility at the heart of their thinking, notably through :
- Firm lease terms reduced: We are currently assisting a client in a search for 10,000 sq.m. under a firm 6-year lease, whereas traditionally 9-year firm leases were used for this space segment.
- Maximized sublease clauses: More permissive subleasing up to sometimes 90% allowed to outside companies.
Some managers are also ready to pay for almost total flexibility by freeing themselves from traditional 3/6/9 year leases. For this, they movetowards operated offices or coworking spaces
A different distribution of work budgets
Office buildings must be able to accommodate the "new" uses of employees. Among other things, they require more meeting spaces. This creates greater technical constraints, particularly in terms of air renewal. There is a strong interest from users for new or restructured assets, also motivated by their ambitions in terms of energy savings.
The allocation of the furniture budget also evolves to equip formal or informal meeting spaces, to create more qualitative convivial spaces or to install lockers, a key and indispensable element of a transition to flex-office.
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However, it has been observed that a move to flex-office in the context of premises already fitted out as open spaces can be done in an optimized way by relying on the existing, while creating new spaces necessary for its proper functioning. Following the example of the Rocher Group, which we recently assisted in moving all of its Parisian teams to flex-office and thus welcoming its Petit Bateau brand to its headquarters in Issy Les Moulineaux.
New questions related to services and operations
A first question quickly arises when defining the needs: what services should be offered to employees who only come on site 2 or 3 days a week?
There are two opposing schools of thought: those who want a full service building, to delight employees and make them want to come more and more, versus those who think that telecommuting calls for a completely different use of services, since employees will favor the dry cleaner or the gym near their home.
Thibaud Poirier for Parella
Today, we collectively lack the hindsight to support one or the other of these visions.
After moving in, a second issue is quickly addressed: the premises are often empty on certain days, especially on Fridays. In order to optimize and save energy, some organizations decide to close all or part of their premises, like the Rémy Cointreau group, which we accompanied for its move to the Etoile Saint Honoré Business Center in 2022.
Practices are evolving and their impact on corporate real estate strategies, in the medium and long term, is becoming increasingly obvious. While certain basic trends can be observed, each company must consider them in the light of its own issues and problems.
These developments have also opened up the field of possibilities. Work on occupied sites used to be a repulsive scenario. Today, it is easier to telecommute employees, to rent coworking spaces during a noisy construction phase, or to take advantage of excess space to create buffer zones and manage the work more easily. Like a company in the industry sector that has cut the duration of its work by half by offering its employees to telework 100% of the time for 2 months.
In 2022, Parella accompanied as many moving projects as renegotiation projects. What will be the trends in 2023? A Parella expert will be able to accompany you and advise you in identifying the best solutions according to your issues.
Each situation has its own real estate strategy
Your issues and your context are unique. We offer you a discussion to help you in your reflections.
* The figures mentioned in this article come from the CSA X Parella 2022 barometer on work spaces and work styles.