Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Office Spaces May Reduce By Up To 50 Per Cent

According to Christian Pistauer, Workplace Strategy director of Meta5 Group in New Zealand, COVID-19 will dramatically change the commercial real estate sector in New Zealand for many years to come.

“Businesses will be reducing their physical footprint and look to invest in technology solutions to build and maintain culture and enable flexible working practices,” Pistauer said.

The proclaimed ‘death’ of hotdesking or activity-based-working might be premature. Economic pressure, demand for flexibility and digitisation will push things into a different direction. The introduction of activity-based-working combined with work from home policies can reduce real estate requirements by up to 30-50 percent.

Pistauer believes COVID has shown us that we can work from home and we are productive at home. “There will be a shift in the way employees see their workspaces. As many have come to realise, the office does provide a valuable space for collaboration as well as intangibles such as socialising and bond-building. The office will become a hub – a place that employees choose to go to fulfil a certain type of work.”

In real terms: an office with 100 employees has on average 1,200sqm rentable office space; this may reduce to 600-700sqm in the coming years, saving significant costs.

“While the pandemic and the speed of the change have undoubtedly caused a lot of stress and forced difficult decisions, not all the mid to long-term changes are negative,” Pistauer added.

“For most businesses the coming year will not be a process of simply returning to how things were, but will involve selecting the positive aspects of what has been learned in the enforced shift to flexible working.

“The key issue is ‘what this new world of work will look like’ and how can organisations ensure they make the transition successfully.”

Flexible Working will be the future

“We are going to see increased flexibility in the workplace, but not as we have known. It will be smarter and better managed. There will be essentially four layers of flexibility,” Pistauer said.

Flexibility in Place

The idea that an employee must be in a certain location to carry out their role has been shown as out-dated in many industries. Employers will need to implement modern work from home policies and activity-based-working in their new models of working.

Flexibility in Role

Cost pressures may well force companies into difficult decisions around personnel, as staff costs make up an average of 80 percent of a business’ outgoings.

Being more flexible with the way roles are allocated will be one way to manage this. Job sharing, part time working and employing contractors are likely to become more common in the coming years.

Flexibility in Time

Flexible working models need to include a number of ways for employees to structure their time. This could include a compressed working week, staggered start and finish times, and more flexible hours policies, all of which will help reduce the cost of real estate.

Flexibility in Leave

A good flexible working policy will also make provisions for allowing more unpaid leave to be taken, and will be more lenient with regards holiday transfer and time in lieu.

Increased investment in technology

“There will be a significant push for businesses in almost all industries to move from paper-based storage to cloud-based facilities, thus allowing for location-flexibility. In the office itself, technology will become even more pronounced,” Pistauer added.

“Dedicated video conferencing rooms will be a necessity, as will personalised equipment. IT may well be the one area where spending will increase over the coming years, though this will be seen as an investment.”

Pistauer is of the view that some organisations will manage the transition better than others.

“We have been measuring the success of workplace transformations since 2012. In our experience there is a significant difference in how successfully organisations adapt to the transition to a more modern way of working,” Pistauer said.

“Some take to it instantly, increasing productivity and reducing costs, all the while reporting increased employee satisfaction. Others struggle with the change, and experience the opposite results.

“What makes the difference? From our research we know that there are four key factors to success: get the basics right and ensure processes are smooth, develop a clear flexible working framework, provide a structured change management process with ongoing support; and make sure leadership is engaged in the process and crucially, walks the talk. One of the largest areas of frustration for employees is being moved to a hot desk environment while seeing the manager retain their own office.

“The success of the new look office will depend on the ability of a business to straddle and manage the balance between the old way of working vs the new.”

Meta5 is a tenant advisory and workplace strategy consultancy working across New Zealand and Australia. Meta5 specialises in workplace strategy, and helps businesses of all sizes across Australasia and beyond adapt to a more modern way of working.

www.meta5group.com

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Tiwai Point: Rio Tinto Announces Plans To Close Tiwai Point Smelter

Rio Tinto has just announced that it will wind down New Zealand Aluminium Smelters - the Tiwai Point smelter - saying the business is no longer viable. More>>

ALSO:

Freight: New Report On Auckland Port Relocation

The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. More>>

ALSO:

Chartered Accountants: COVID-19 Fails To Knock Kiwi Investor Confidence, But More Disclosure Wanted

Three months of COVID-19 lockdown and investment turmoil has done little to knock confidence in New Zealand capital markets and listed companies with overall investor sentiment very similar to 2019, an investor survey held in mid June shows. However, ... More>>

ALSO:

Taxation: Black-Market Tobacco Sidesteps $287 Million In Excise Tax

Year-on-year increases in consumption of illicit tobacco in New Zealand have seen illegal trade swell to 11.5% of the total market. If consumed legally, illicit products would have netted the Government $287 million in excise tax during 2019. Independent ... More>>

ALSO:

Energy Sector: Meridian Spilled Water To Hike Electricity Prices - Authority Ruling

The Electricity Authority has found that generator Meridian Energy manipulated the power market, costing consumers about $80 million. More>>

ALSO:

XE Data Update: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision

The RBNZ will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%. T he key points in the RBNZ statement are: RBNZ keeps the OCR unchanged at 0.25% Maintain the LSAP (large scale asset purchase) at NZD$60 billion. Committee prepared to use additional monetary ... More>>

ALSO:

Electricity: Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power

Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric Co are joint winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Electricity Providers From putting on an extra layer – rather than turning on a heater – to turning off lights and choosing the energy-saving ... More>>

ALSO:

Electricity: Transmission Pricing For A Low Carbon Future

The Electricity Authority has decided on new guidelines for transmission pricing. James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority says the new guidelines will deliver significant benefits to consumers, through lower electricity ... More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: The Climate Record That Keeps Getting Broken

Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month. Since January 2017 there has not been one month that recorded a below average nationwide temperature, according to NIWA’s seven station ... More>>

ALSO:

Govt: Extended Loan Scheme Keeps Business Afloat

Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small ... More>>

ALSO:

Science: 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been announced in a digital livestream event today. The Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the ... More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: Fuel, Alcohol Costs To Go Up From Today

The increase today in the taxes on fuel, road user charges and alcohol is being called a tone-deaf move. More>>

ALSO:

Stardome Observatory: Young Kiwi Astro-Photographer Shoots For The Stars

Matariki by Josh Kirkley. The stars are aligning for up-and-coming Auckland-based astro-photographer Josh Kirkley (Kāi Tahu). During lockdown, one of his images was picked up by NASA and shared on the space agency’s Instagram to its 59.2 million ... More>>


DCANZ: Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker’s statement that it is unacceptable for New Zealand exporters to continue facing an ‘unlevel playing field’ in the EU. Details leaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Potatoes New Zealand: Protecting NZ Fries As Part Of PNZ Pandemic Recovery & Transformation Plan

Potatoes New Zealand has met with Minister Faafoi this week to discuss investigating the potential importation of heavily discounted frozen potato chips into New Zealand. With MBIE’s support we are undertaking an investigation to gather evidence of the ... More>>

ALSO:


New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>

ALSO: