business services sector

in the czech republic

ABSL Report 2021

Developing Talent

WORKPLACE Solutions & REMOTE WORK Strategies

The 'New Normal' of remote work practices

Coronavirus-related restrictions have proved that employees are flexible when the situation demands it. Despite many managers’ expectations, productivity has not dropped and trust between employees and their managers as well as among teams grew.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about major changes in the work practices forcing majority of employees to work from home. Within the business services in the Czech Republic this transformation happened quickly and smoothly also since 54% of employees already worked from home at least 1 day per week even before the pandemic.


of employees work from home at least half of their time since COVID-19


of respondents to a recent Colliers study state their work-life balance has improved since working from home due to COVID-191

“The pandemic has broken down all the barriers that often arise between employers and employees when it comes to flexible working environments and has shown that much more flexible arrangements are possible than previously thought.”

Adam Kiwalski
GBS Head Delivery Management
Stable motivation and productivity during remote work

COVID-19 forces the move of the vast majority of employees within the business services to their home offices. What impact did this have on productivity and motivation of the employees? The ABSL Survey 2020 shows that the centres observed an increase in the level of motivation of the employees working remotely.

This is further confirmed by Colliers Post-COVID-19 Workplace Report 2020 among 5,000 employees, which showed that with sufficient support and remote leadership the majority of employees feel as productive and when working from the office. However, for collaboration and meetings the office continues to be the preferred workplace.


of centres report the same or higher level of motivation of employees working remotely

"People meeting virtually with colleagues at fixed moments during the day show a 16% higher productivity increase. "
- Colliers Post-COVID-19 Workplace Report -

Winners 2020 in category Innovative Workplace & Remote Working Strategies
ABSL Diamonds Winner

The first Diamond Award goes to Mercedes-Benz Parts Logistics Eastern Europe for the implementation of modern office space in the Aspira building in Prague 5, which respects the preferences of employees and the innovative approach of management. At the same time is in line with the latest corporate design. The offices, to which the company moved in August this year, were established during the COVID-19 restrictive measures, and yet completed on time. With the opening of the new offices the employees were invited to return from the spring period of home working back to working from the office. From the beginning, the new environment met one of the main goals of the project – to create a long-term base with a high quality for a company that supports the flexibility of its employees coming from different parts of the world at all levels, whether it is office use, growth or remote collaboration. For this purpose, the top modern technologies are used and integrated into the office. The natural heart of the company is the lounge zone with a pleasant and nearly home atmosphere where employees can eat, relax, discuss their ideas with colleagues and work.

ABSL Diamonds Winner

The second Diamond Award in this category was handed over to Anheuser-Busch InBev, a global beer and soft drink supplier based in Belgium, whose Prague center developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic within a few weeks an application allowing employees to flexibly reserve office space while adhering to recommended social distancing. The application called Book My Seat (BMS) can be very easily used from mobile device or via a web interface. It allows the company to control the occupancy of offices and at the same time in the event of the spread of the virus easily track the contact between people while of course strictly adhering to GDPR principles. Through the application, employees can also order to pick up a monitor and other IT equipment in case they decide to work from home. The latest functionality of the application is augmented reality, which will allow the employees to easily navigate in the company in the form of a Pokémon Go game. The company subsequently wants to use the data collected by the application to make the use of office space more efficient.

Workplace arrangements meeting the new work practices

While a certain share of work-from-home is normal for many roles, the office workplace will still continue to be the main hub for collaboration, interaction, and innovation in organizations. The need for flexibility and faster dynamics in the workspace will require a shift in company culture. This might include custom design to make employees feel good in their offices and further increase their productivity and loyalty.

New office models include non-dedicated work areas which reduces the square meters needed for the traditional office-like areas. With the office environment adapting to flexibility and coworking, the collaboration of employees will be enhanced, and their greater engagement will lead to more creative ideas.

For more information, download the Colliers Post-COVID-19 Workplace Report 2020.

Other workplace changes include developing hybrid models, creating tools to book office seats, re-designing the office as a place primarily to collaborate, or still finalizing and iterating the workplace plans.

Many of the business services centres are reflecting on the new work practices by re-designing their workplace. For example, 50% of the centres are planning to increase the share of desk-sharing workstations to account for the higher flexibility their employees experience. As a result, the share of employees who are using the desk-sharing workstations has risen by 26% compared to the pre-COVID period.

New models of workplace arrangements

Companies employing many so-called white-collar workers, i.e. administrative professions, have several options to choose from in order to reorganize their offices to allow their people as much flexibility as possible and to support and develop their corporate culture.

One of the possibilities is the Hub & Spoke model, in which the company reduces the size of the main office and complements it with smaller spaces in different locations in the same city or even within other regions. Offices in several locations are already operated by many large companies today, but so far individual spaces have not been used in the Hub & Spoke model, but were intended only for one specific department, not for all company employees.

“It is for these companies that the Hub & Spoke model is offered as suitable and a feasible option available in a relatively short time. The aim is essentially to rebuild the regional offices into a kind of internal co-working, where any employee of the given company can work.”

Jana Vlková
Director, Head of Workplace Advisory
Colliers International

Another suitable alternative is the Flex & Core model, which combines the company’s head office offering a high-quality design and technologically equipped shared internal work environment with membership in one or more co-working centers. This model is especially suitable for companies with dynamically changing number of employees and therefore a fluctuating requirement for the capacity of offices.

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