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News Release

Prague

What amenities should an office building definitely have? A canteen, a restaurant, free wifi and a grocery

The latest survey of JLL and Skanska lets employees speak out about the importance of an office bulding´s location and its attributes and how they could help companies in the war to attract and retain talent


​Prague, 24 November 2015 – When evaluating a job offer, employees increasingly tend to prefer companies which can offer an attractive office in a convenient location. This is one of the findings from a recent survey of JLL and Skanska, which received over 1,400 responses from employees of the modern business services sector. "It's a dynamically growing segment of the Czech market, where the demands on employees are quite high - expert knowledge and ability to speak foreign languages. Due to a 20% growth of the sector, there is strong competition within human resources and a fight for talent, and because it is important to know employees' opinions when creating a new productive and performance-boosting environment," said Ota Kulhánek, President of ABSL, which groups together companies that work in the business services sector. So what are the employees´ actual preferences?

Location and commuting times
42% of staff surveyed in Prague typically reach the office within 21–40 minutes. An overwhelming majority (92%) live within a 60 minute commuting radius. Interestingly, 42% of staff surveyed also pointed out that between 21 and 40 minutes is the maximum time they are keen to spend on commuting to work in Prague, although an additional 44% said they would be willing to travel up to 60 minutes.

In the other main Czech cities, a 21–40 minute commuting time was again the most common answer (51%) with 73% of those surveyed living within a 40 minute commute. When asked about the maximum time they are keen to spend on commuting to work, the typical answer was also between 21 and 40 minutes (48 %), although an additional 40 % said they would travel up to 60 minutes. It is worth noting however that although employees may be willing to spend more time commuting to work, 49 % of respondents admitted that longer travel times were one of the factors that bothered them the most.

40% of respondents would find a central location with all its amenities and services desirable. However, 53% stated that location (city centre vs. non-central areas) comes secondary to the travel time. It is therefore indifferent whether the office is located centrally or out of the city centre, provided that public transport is adequate and the commuting time is within reasonable limits. If walking is required, 67% of people would be willing to walk up to 10 minutes but, 21% also emphasised the need for the walk to be pleasant.

“With current GIS (mapping) tools in place, we are now able to help companies make the optimal choice of office location. Based on address codes of centre staff, provided by corporates, we can map office buildings which are most easily accessible by its employees. This is particularly important, as the relocation of a company to another location can cause discomfort to employees. Out of the entire spectrum of attributes, 52 % of respondents pointed to the location as having deteriorated or not improved following the move. At the same time, relocation improved such aspects as the general comfort of work or access to relax zones and social areas,” explains Blanka Vačkova, Head of Research at JLL.

Means of transport
Public transport is the most common mode of transport for surveyed staff. This is followed by the car, with a walk in third place. Our research confirms the fact that one of the major success factors for an office building in Prague is to be close to a Metro station and/or a tram station. For regional cities the requirement would be for tram followed by bus.

Commuting by car for employees is less common in the Czech Republic with only 23% of respondents commuting via this method on a daily basis. This is largely thanks to the well developed and efficient public transport systems. However, 44% of those surveyed would appreciate access to free parking if available.
The topography of Prague, plus the general lack of cycle lanes and bicycle parking in most cities is a hindrance for cycling as a mode of transport and only 2% of people surveyed are using a bike to commute on a regular basis. However, a greater availability of bicycle parking racks and common showers and changing facilities would be welcomed by more than one third of respondents.

Free Wi-Fi, a canteen and a grocery
“Another office building facility which is seen as important is for free Wi-Fi to be available in and around the entire building. This is likely to become a market standard in the near future. The implementation cost of such a solution is not significant and this kind of amenity is highly valued by the majority of employees (69%), regardless of age,” says Petr Kareš, Head of Tenant Representation at JLL.

BPO/SSC employees would also like to have access to a wider range of amenities in the building or in its nearest surroundings, such as a canteen, restaurant, grocery or café bar. All of the abovementioned would make the workplace more convenient.

“As the developer of office buildings, we are very happy to see the trend that the satisfaction of employees as to their workplace is being much more addressed by their employers. The employer´s office space is more and more used as a tool to attract, motivate and retain employees. By designing an inspiring workplace, we can help the employers to win their war for talent.” says Marie Passburg, Managing Director of Skanska Property Czech Republic.


 “As demonstrated in the report, in a competitive labour market, companies offering a well-selected office building location, coupled with proper office space planning, are likely to successfully compete for talent,” concludes Ota Kulhánek.

About the survey
The basis for this analysis was an in-depth online survey that received over 1,400 responses from employees of the modern services sector. The majority of responses collected came from the 4 major cities of the country namely: Prague, Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen. Where appropriate we have split the results to show differences or similarities between the capital and regional cities. This survey is one of the first and largest surveys of its kind in the Czech Republic.

About ABSL
ABSL (Association of Business Service Leaders) is an organisation gathering companies within a shared business services sector. This segment is a strong employment resource in the Czech Republic - gives job to 65,000 employees and creates turnover around 80 billion Czech crowns which is 1,5% of the GDP of the Czech Republic. ABSL was established in 2013 and its goal is to support business service organisations, to share best practices and to develop the activities of its members and other subjects in this sector. At the same time, ABSL provides foreign investors with support to help them establish new business services centres in the country. More information at www.absl.cz.

About Skanska
Skanska Property Czech Republic, s.r.o., a subsidiary of Skanska Commercial Development Europe, specializes in commercial property development. It has been operating on the Czech market since 1997 and has since completed numerous administrative buildings and commercial spaces. Skanska Property Czech Republic is currently developing sustainable administrative building Corso Court in Prague 8 – Karlín. www.skanska.cz/property.