Companies from all over the world are drawn to Poland in search of experienced IT professionals as they open up more IT and R&D centres. The sector’s preferred office locations are Warsaw and Wroclaw, which is now called the Polish Silicon Valley. Large IT centres are also opening in Krakow, Katowice and Gdansk. The largest tenants in the IT sector in Poland include: Atos, Dolby, Capgemini, IBM, Nokia, Opera Software, Accenture, Ericsson and many others.
Today’s offices designed for IT companies are distinguished by superior fit-outs and advanced technology. Companies are investing in a high standard because the office is a place that defines the culture of an organisation and promotes creative thinking. According to research conducted by the Kelly Global Workforce Index, IT workers are more likely than workers in other sectors to value their work environment (66% IT, 57% other sectors) and access to the most up-to-date office equipment (63% IT and 46% other sectors).
The IT sector is an employees’ market. IT specialists (usually men aged 25-35) often choose their future employer in terms of additional benefits, among which the location and standard of the office occupies a high place. So it is no wonder that companies in the sector are doing everything to make their offices stand out. Inspiration is drawn from abroad, especially the United States, where office space designed for the top players in the IT market (such as Apple, Google and Microsoft) is an example of the most modern approach to office space. Large common areas, spacious kitchens, games and relaxation rooms, game consoles and even places for napping are now standard in offices for IT staff.
“It is worth emphasising that the latest technology, from server rooms to automated conference rooms equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia equipment, is standard in offices for IT companies. Particular attention is paid to ensuring adequate acoustics in individual zones, lighting as well as attractive but also ergonomic furniture,” commented Martin Lipiński, Head of Office Agency and Tenant Representation.
The area around the office is also important for staff, including the availability of fitness clubs, restaurants, services and green areas. These areas of greenery and services are particularly important when the company is the sole tenant of an office building or several office buildings that make up one campus, which is common the IT industry and a prime example are the offices in Krakow for Nokia or Motorola.
The last issue, yet still important, is employees’ involvement in the design and layout of office space. IT professionals spend most of the day at the office, so they want to have an impact on how it looks. Employee-created offices have better functionality and are tailored to the mode and nature of a company’s business.
For IT companies, the office is a challenge facing many corporate executives. The above-average demand for technical infrastructure, additional security systems, technical innovations, high-quality materials and designer finishes increase the price per square metre of office space.
“It is estimated that the fit-out cost of office space designed for the IT sector is higher than average by 20 to 30%. The minimum rate is EUR 400/sq m. In addition, the cost of furniture for workstations exceeds EUR 1,500. It is worth emphasising, however, that a modern, well-designed office is an investment that pays back over time, because it improves work efficiency and supports the company in recruiting talents,” concludes Martin Lipiński.