The shift towards a fluid workplace is accelerating

Office-based employment is expected to drop across the Nordic region in the short term, resulting in higher vacancy and dampened leasing activity. Indeed, historical data for Copenhagen are showing an almost perfect negative correlation between the growth of office-based employment and office vacancy. But the outcome doesn’t necessarily have to be decisively negative. The shift we envisaged towards a more fluid workplace anchored by a high quality headquarter space and supported by a network of smaller locations might become a reality more quickly than anticipated pre-COVID.

“The uncertainty of the last few weeks has indeed given a new relevance to workplace agility. The long-run future of work; mobility, tech enablement, employee choice, has been pulled into the short-run present by COVID-19. Companies and employees are gaining the experience with large-scale home-based working. Technology has proven a useful tool to sustain collaboration. Long-term technology will complement, but not replace the need for the physical workplace. The physical workplace will be a choice, rather than a default, for both firms and their employees. The outcome will likely be a rationalised physical footprint, made up of different types of space to support employee needs”, says Dragana Marina, Head of Research at CBRE Denmark.


COVID-19 outbreak is expected to have a brutal short-term effect on Nordic economies, while mid-term outlook remains optimistic. Governmental fiscal stimulus will be essential to ensure the economy can bounce back quickly. Although e.g. Denmark has become one of the first countries in Europe to begin lifting some lockdown measures, the reopening of the economy will be gradual. Office-based employment in major Danish cities, a key driver of office demand, is expected to see slower growth. The same trend could possibly be seen across the region. 

“Changing landscapes have spurred the need for agile real estate strategies. This is creating real implications for workplaces, assets and overall portfolios. For all stakeholders, infusing agility into their real estate will help them embrace change, allowing for a certain level of uncertainty while supporting the evolving needs of organisations and the employees they serve.

Flexibility of use is expected to be one of the most important occupier trends going forward. As occupiers build flexibility into corporate real estate strategy and the growth of flexible space transforms office market, landlords and investors of all types will re-evaluate their strategies”, concludes Dragana Marina.

Dragana Marina | Jan Lyng-Petersen | Ninna Therkelsen

Dragana Marina | Jan Lyng-Petersen | Ninna Therkelsen

Dragana is an experienced professional with over 13 years of experience in the real estate sector. She leads the research operations for the Danish market. The Danish research department covers all market segments and works closely with other Business Lines by using research to drive client-based initiatives. Dragana also collaborates with the Danish marketing department and supports the achievement of marketing goals for various products and services. Besides being responsible for leading research functions in Denmark, Dragana also supports CBRE’s pan-Nordic research.
Mobile phone: +45 (0)3135 7484

Jan Lyng-Petersen joined CBRE in 2007 and is today Senior Director and Head of the Advisory & Transaction Services team for Occupiers in Denmark. Jan Lyng-Petersen is advising tenants in Occupier transaction aspects as well as in Portfolio Management and operation of their leased properties.
Mobile phone: +45 (0)3070 6656

Ninna Therkelsen is a state authorized real estate agent and Valuer, MDE. She is Senior Director and Head of Advisory & Transaction Service, Investor Leasing at CBRE Denmark, with 18 years of experience.
Mobile phone: +45 (0)3124 8589

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