The reevaluation of the workplace in the post-Covid era

Giancarlo Nicastro, CEO of SiiLA

The Covid-19 pandemic forced most companies to adapt their businesses quickly. Working from home was not a reality for the vast majority of organizations, and it now has become a regular thing for teams from the most varied areas of companies in a matter of a few days or weeks.

In this context came the challenges brought by the crisis generated by the spread of the virus. Companies needed to cut their budgets, fearing what the economic crisis would bring to their businesses and because they were unable to see the end of the pandemic, which now seems closer. At that first moment, even in the first months of isolation, many companies considered closing their headquarters and implementing a permanent remote work regime without hesitation.

Over a year has passed, and we are seeing the movement of many companies, which had abandoned their headquarters, returning to physical spaces or looking for new addresses for their broader and more flexible businesses. This trend shows us that the theory that offices would end did not materialize, and on the contrary, work environments have gained and will continue to be relevant for organizations.

We can see the translation of this market movement into numbers in SiiLA itself. Our advertising platform on SPOT for commercial real estate, offices and coworking spaces on the São Paulo-Rio axis is among the most accessed advertisements.

We can conclude that this return from companies to offices is mainly due to organizational and cultural aspects that the available technologies are not yet capable of delivering. Headquarters continue to be fundamental gears for companies, and the workspace, or workplace, will continue to be essential for the collaboration and dissemination of the organizational culture.

The pandemic proved that it is possible to innovate from a distance and that it is not going in person that dictates how much we are capable of being productive. However, several studies address the possible damage of working from home to our mental health. We have faced this daily during the pandemic, with the excess of videoconferences.

We, who have been following the Real Estate market at SiiLA for many years, had already seen that many companies that tested the work-at-home model even before the pandemic concluded that remote work could not meet all the demands organizational.

We need a long period of isolation to conclude that when we are together, the conditions to surpass ourselves, generate new ideas and business are exponentially greater. Videoconferencing platforms are still far away – and how good, to replace eye-to-eye moments of relaxed teams and nostalgic conversations in the hallway in company cafes.

For all these reasons, we believe that the future of offices will add challenges to recruiters and Human Resources (HR) professionals in attracting, retaining talent, and engaging their employees in hybrid work. HRs will have to develop strategies and solutions for friendlier workplaces, which tend to be more informal, with open spaces and definitely without the attachment of fixed workstations.

Offices tend to become a piece of employees' homes. We will have more and more companies adopting pet-friendly policies, loosening dress code models and flexible start and end work journeys for employees to carry out their working hours in a combined way between working from home and on-site models - which will give the option to escape the peak hours of traffic in large capitals, ensuring healthier routines to combine work and personal life according to your needs.

Companies will need to respond to the new needs of employees and the growing demand for work environments capable of providing more and more well-being for teams, which are also attractive, flexible, balancing the seriousness of the corporate world with the necessary relaxation for innovation to happen. I believe that the workplace of the future will combine what is best and convenient in work at home with work in the office, uniting collaboration and achievement.