At the end of February, the ceremony of the 4th year of CBRE Meeting Room of the Year competition will be announced. Was the last year different from previous years? How much companies emphasise the healthy internal environment in their offices? Answers to these and other questions were given by Petra Lávičková, CBRE Head of Corporate Marketing & PR.
What was the ambition of CBRE when the 4th annual CBRE Meeting Room of the Year Competition was announced?
In CBRE, we have been thinking about the project for a long time and we thought it was very important to show and present interesting corporate premises, reception, corporate background and, above all, the pleasant atmosphere of the company to professionals, wider public and job applicants. In general the change of office space is a very dynamic process. We wanted to capture how this change is progressing and to bring about a discussion on the subject of office environment among the general public. I am glad that we have achieved this key goal and the office environment has become one of the main topics of the office market as well as the benefits that companies offer to their employees.
How did your initial expectations from the first year have changed?
With this question CBRE offices came to my mind, where the first announcement took place. The first year was a pilot project and no one knew how it would go on. Last year, the ceremony took place in Corso Karlín building where approximately 250 guests took part. This number met my expectation absolutely. But it surpassed my expectations in other ways too. I also appreciate the fact that we cooperate with business leaders and some companies participate from the very beginning. This year is a record, both in the number of candidates and finalists.
How has the competition developed since the first year and what does it bring to the participants?
It brings mainly a positive promotion of the competition participants. The companies actually write a modern history of the office environment. Other benefit is the networking part of the competition, participants have the opportunity to meet interesting people at the ceremony, and being involved in the project increases their brand prestige.
How does this year differ from previous years?
I think the 4th year of CBRE Meeting Room of the Year project has clearly shown us that modern offices are no longer a privilege of the capital only. I am glad that even small towns across the Czech Republic are increasingly interested in the office environment, the comfort and the satisfaction of their employees. While Prague is still the leader in the regions, it is gradually changing. This year I am very happy with the number of participants from the companies in Brno, Beroun, Čejkovice u Hodonína, Jablonec nad Nisou, Olomouc or Pardubice. This year, as well as last year, they are mainly IT companies or marketing agencies. We've also noticed the increasing number of companies for example from e-commerce or co-working centres. In recent years, the office design has been a strong topic, and I believe we contributed to the awareness. Companies try to make the office environment more pleasant and attractive for employees.
Have you noticed a quality change of the applications of projects in the course of time?
The quality is reflected primarily in how companies think about their offices and are able to realize their ideas. We see that they focus more on individual office elements and layout that are more attractive and lead to work efficiency, taking into account light, acoustics and well-being of the office. These are things that nobody was interested in five years ago. But I think there are still some elements that Czech companies do not deal with very well. Sometimes a clear idea or concept is missing; the design prevails over functionality or light is not adequate. Moreover, a lounge is a special topic. Companies try to be original, but they forget that it must be a place where people feel good. As a positive, however, I see that a number of companies are starting to use expert services, which is a good step forward. I believe the real estate office market is on the right track.