The office market has a future!

  Blogs, HPP-REDA
by Jochem van Uden

Commercial Director Building, Ballast Nedam


[In Nederlands]

The office market is more booming than ever before and the latest reports and surveys are positive. At the invitation of Holland Property Plaza, Jochem van Uden, Commercial Director Building Projects at Ballast Nedam, gives his view on developments in the office market. Jochem: “Would it not be better to look in the reports at the location, facilities and experience of the users, rather than the costs, returns and square metres? After all, it’s the user who decides whether he likes to be in the office or not.”

The corona crisis made working from home mandatory. Quite a challenge, especially when schools closed and children were home-schooled. Who sits where? Is there enough internet? Where can I make an undisturbed phone call? The peace, focus, efficiency and above all the facilities and personal interaction at the office proved to be a great loss. As soon as it was possible again, people went back to the office en masse. Logical, because an office is more than just work. It is about meeting people, experiencing and being part of a certain dynamic and culture. The quality of the coffee corner and the restaurant are more important than ever, as is the possibility of spending time with colleagues in a well-conditioned room or, on the contrary, of seeking out the silence. A super-fast network, good accessibility and sufficient charging stations are also indispensable for today’s office. Apart from making the buildings more sustainable, we should also focus more on the well-being of our office workers.

We see a development from having to be in the office to wanting to be in the office. So offices are definitely the future.

More office space
Whereas at the start of the corona crisis we all shouted that we would never have to go to the office again, we now have jam-packed motorways and crowds at the coffee machine. At the beginning of the summer, 40% were still working at home. I suspect that after the pandemic this will drop to 20% or less. Is that a bad thing? No, I do not think so. People just want a nice working environment with good facilities and to be part of a culture. A place where you can work efficiently and feel at home. So we actually need more office space. Office gardens will partly disappear and make way for digital contact areas, so that meeting rooms are not fixed to just one person. Meeting rooms and conference rooms will become more comfortable with up-to-date audiovisual possibilities. On the one hand because people are connecting online and on the other because coming together is becoming more social.

We are creating an organisation-specific community, a place where you can work efficiently and feel at home. Flexible employment could be the trend here, and certainly not the idea of working from home as much as possible.

Feeling at home
Quiet areas, open plan offices, good and healthy food, sports facilities, meeting places. People are looking for a sense of home at work. The new way of working is about trust, freedom and a good balance between work and private life. At the office, you enter a world of experience where you can perform to the best of your ability. Employees, especially starters, want dynamism, balance, flexibility and experience. Cradle to cradle, Breeam, Well Building and nature-inclusive construction are the future. The office market can respond perfectly to these trends. In general, flex-offices are already doing this well. A quick glance at the availability of offices shows that we are facing an exciting phase. The existing offices have not sufficiently anticipated this cultural transition, so there is work to be done! Why wait? This is the ideal time to reflect, develop and realise. Because whether it’s about meter prices or revenues from facilities, the office market is more booming than ever before.


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