Mark Oancea is the Development Director within Vox Property Group. On October 23rd, he participated as a speaker in the X Group “People, buildings, smart cities”, part of the third edition of the International Forum of Large Developers DEVO.
“Whether we are talking about retail, office or residential, I think we all agree that we are living in times we did not imagine, which, in fact, bring a major change in the paradigm in which we lived until now, and we are obliged to face these challenges. In fact, we have to change our habits: the habit of living, working, shopping, spending our free time, socializing. These have led to major changes in all areas and segments.
Everyone is trying to adapt, to recalibrate. We on the office side were very affected, because we had people working in those spaces and we tried to offer them safety at work, through thermal scanning at the entrances, by redefining the traffic flows – by limiting accesses on stairs, elevators, main entrances. We have done all this to give all employees a safer and more secure work environment. The impact has been quite high and tenants have appreciated our efforts, but on the other hand we are not yet at a stage where we can say that we can measure all key-steps taken and it is not yet clear what we need to do next. This uncertainty, the lack of the possibility to measure what you do, adds another big question mark about the spaces and the place where I work – is it safe or not?
I tell you from our experience with all tenants, respectively our partners, each adopts global / national measures or policies, but also depends on the size of the company. Some have decided not to come to the office at all, some come to a lesser extent, with a weekly or monthly rotation. Others resize their spaces, resorting to coworking components. We have adopted this concept of coworking or workspace, with the idea of offering as much flexibility as possible to the employer and the employee, and a community component on a space that is common. It had a very positive feedback in the pandemic, but today we have to recalibrate on this segment, in the idea that people are eager to have a coworking or shared space, but have an uncertainty about the interaction, the interaction with other people who do not they are necessarily from their immediate sphere or from their business, automatically the flows must be very well defined. In fact, today this is the major issue – trust. The confidence to come to work, that where you work is safe, that it does not expose you to a certain risk.
On the upcycling side, to try to reduce the impact of materials left over from construction, we work with different companies that deal with this, and try to find a mutually agreed solution, through which we can limit this general waste. We have a special area where we store materials that could be reused in various other projects. We are also trying to bring other actors to market, we are talking here about hubs, craftsmen, architects, who could make something else out of those materials. We have always tried to position ourselves in this area of being innovative, including the waste management side, even if there is no national-European directive that requires this.
We must keep in mind that the paradigm we know today will change and it is only a matter of adaptability. I think there is an increase in interest in all levels on the residential side. There are people who want to move to a house, people who want a bigger apartment or who also has a green area or who want extra services, due to the fact that we spend as much time at home as possible. The need for space has become greater. ”