C&W FORTON SURVEY: EMPLOYEES ARE GRADUALLY RETURNING TO THE OFFICE
Employees of companies in Sofia are returning to their physical offices in a phased manner, according to a survey by consultancy agency Cushman & Wakefield Forton.
The data shows that as of April 2022, 37% of the companies surveyed, have between 30% and 50% of their staff working in the office. A year earlier, the same share of work from the office was recorded by just 4% of companies surveyed, and 85% said that less than 30% of their employees worked from the office.
“With the lifting of coronavirus containment measures, employees of more and more organizations are gradually returning to their traditional workplaces. From the tenant surveys, we can summarise that over 80% of companies are looking at ways and encouraging their employees to return to the offices,” said Yordan Krastev, Manager Office Space at Cushman & Wakefield Forton.
The share of companies whose employees prefer to work entirely from home remains unchanged. Compared to the April 2021 survey, it has now decreased from 9% to 7%.
More people, same space
The survey shows that although lare occupiers in Sofia are growing in terms of the number of employees, most companies do not plan to increase the amount of leased office space in the short term. Nearly 60% of respondents continue to hire new people, but only 1% plan to expand the occupied area.
According to Jordan Krastev, this is mainly observed in companies from the IT and BPO sector, as the nature of their business does not require office attendance. In support of this, almost half of the respondents indicated that they have implemented a hybrid working model where their employees spend only part of their working time in the office. 35% of respondents provide their staff with unrestricted access to the office and also without a commitment to constant attendance.
In addition to the changes that have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the business of large occupiers has also been affected by the war in Ukraine. 24% of respondents to the survey found themselves affected by what is happening in the country. The consequences are mainly related to relocation of people, suspension of launched projects or taking on additional work due to closed offices in conflict zones.
About the survey
The Cushman & Wakefield Forton survey was conducted among companies with a total of over 35,000 employees in Sofia and aims to reflect current business attitude towards working in the office or from home. This is the fourth survey conducted by the company since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the respondents, 64% are in the IT or BPO sector, 23% are in the financial sector, 1% are legal and advisory services companies, and 6% are in other businesses. The shares were calculated based on the number of people working in the companies who gave specific answers to the questions asked.
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