Polish Workers Spending 60% of Pre-Pandemic Time in Office, Report Finds

Polish office occupancy stabilizes at 60% of pre-pandemic levels, reflecting recovery and evolving work trends, with strong retail and manufacturing sectors offsetting economic uncertainties.

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Wojciech Zylm
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Polish Workers Spending 60% of Pre-Pandemic Time in Office, Report Finds

Polish Workers Spending 60% of Pre-Pandemic Time in Office, Report Finds

A recent report has revealed that Polish workers are currently spending 60% of their pre-pandemic time in the office, indicating a stabilization in occupier demand. The first quarter of 2024 saw 7.3 million sq ft of office space taken up, matching the figures from the previous year. However, economic uncertainty, higher interest rates, and rising operational costs continue to make occupiers hesitant about committing to new facilities.

Despite these challenges, the economic outlook for Poland is improving, with inflation falling and interest rate cuts expected later this year. Structural trends and fundamentals supporting occupier demand remain strong, particularly in the retail sector. Rising retail sales and continued growth in online penetration rates are expected to support the need for network expansion.

The report also highlights a polarization in demand, with interest focused on best-in-class assets that meet ESG requirements, driving up prime rents. The vacancy rate has softened due to development completions and secondhand space returning to the market, providing occupiers with a good selection of readily available facilities.

Manufacturing firms have represented a quarter of all space taken up by occupiers in 2022-23, despite falling production levels over the last two years. As the sector enters growth mode this year, additional production and distribution space requirements are likely to materialize.

Why this matters: The stabilization of office occupancy in Poland reflects the ongoing recovery from the pandemic and the evolving nature of work. The report's findings provide valuable insights into the current state of the Polish office market and the factors influencing occupier demand.

Maciej Trybuchowski, CEO of Personnel Service, commented on the report's findings, stating, "The 60% office occupancy rate among Polish workers indicates a new normal in the post-pandemic world. While challenges remain, the improving economic outlook and strong fundamentals in key sectors like retail and manufacturing bode well for the future of the office market in Poland."

Key Takeaways

  • Polish office occupancy at 60% of pre-pandemic levels, indicating stabilization.
  • Q1 2024 saw 7.3 million sq ft of office space taken up, matching prior year.
  • Economic uncertainty, higher rates, and rising costs make occupiers hesitant.
  • Polarization in demand, with interest in best-in-class assets meeting ESG needs.
  • Manufacturing firms represented 25% of space taken up in 2022-23, expected to grow.