The Skanska Office Index survey was conducted by GfK Group during Q4 2008 for Skanska Commercial Development Europe. Despite the impact of the world financial crisis, respondents were not too pessimistic when comparing results with those of last year. This year’s extended survey reports that 49% of the respondents are aware of the GreenBuilding Programme and a significant percentage would also be influenced by this certification in selecting their new office.
In Scandinavia, the Skanska Office Index has been conducted for more than five years and provides useful information about the market trends of each year. In following the tradition, the first Hungarian version was released in 2007 and from then on, Skanska has presented the results of the index every January. Information such as real estate market trends, their results and development plans, can all be followed through this survey. Since the survey was conducted in Q4 2008, the financial crisis had an affect on the results and on the respondents’ willingness to reply to the questions. Due to the crisis, it was also difficult to reach certain individuals especially CEO’s for example, which explains why the profile of the respondents differs somewhat from last year.
Business trends – choosing new office space
Skanska Office Index 2008 reports, like last year, that the most important decision-making factors for respondents when selecting a new office space are the parking space made available by the property, rental charges and other financial terms as well as energy costs. This year the respondents were almost as optimistic as they were in 2007. Last year 59% described their industry as expanding and this year 55% does the same. At the same time, when considering their own company within the business/industry, the majority of respondents 58% (53% in 2007) claim that their company is developing in line with the business on average, while 33% (39% in 2007) believe that their company is developing at a better rate than the business on average. The financial crisis is most likely the main reason 34% (39% in 2007) believe that their company will have more employees working in their office space in one year, while 8% (11% in 2007) expect this number to decrease. Regarding the layout of the office space, the gap between the current layout and the layout preferred by the respondents and employees seem to remain the same. 34% of the respondents/employees would prefer individual office rooms over open office space (45% in 2007), while only 17% (27% in 2007) actually have individual rooms.
New questions in Skanska Office Index: GreenBuilding Programme
Skanska wanted to know if the GreenBuilding Programme is well-known in Hungary. For Skanska, environmental consciousness is extremely important and they were curious of how crucial it is to other companies. (These questions were added to the survey this year and therefore cannot be compared to results from previous years.) The GreenBuilding Programme is a voluntary EU program for non-residential buildings with the aim of enhancing their energy efficiency. For new non-residential buildings, primary energy consumption has to be at least 25% below the national building standard. The majority, 82%, of the respondents state that energy use should be reduced in an environment conscious property. In addition, use of renewable sources of energy, environment-friendly materials and access to public transport links are considered to be important to more than 60% of the respondents. In following measures taken by their company, 74% of the respondents use environment-friendly materials, 17% reduced energy use, 51% use selective waste collection, 12% reduced economical use of paper. 61% of the respondents would be interested in an environmental declaration for the office space next time. 49% know about the GreenBuilding Programme and 34% would be influenced by it in their decision-making.