The business services branch has gradually become a Polish economic specialization. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that companies from this sector are occupying more and more office space and fast becoming the driving force behind the development of new modern buildings. As a result of the growing number of services centers and their appetite for suitable working space, the sector currently occupies ca. 1.5 million sq m of office space in Poland.
The constant enhancement of the business services sector in Poland is visible in both employment levels and the dynamic development of the office building market. According to ABSL, services centers with foreign capital currently employ 150,000 workers in Poland.
– Forecasts for the sector are very positive. By 2020, around 250,000 workers are expected to be employed by the sector. It's a quarter of a million jobs for university graduates, specialists and managers. Furthermore, these jobs are and will be located in high quality workplaces that offer the opportunity for development and promotion within international corporate structures. This will result in business services becoming an even more important sector for the whole Polish economy – says Marek Grodziński, Vice-President at ABSL, Head of European Delivery Centers at BPO Capgemini.
The sector not only creates workplaces but also acts as an important urban and regional catalyst. It contributes to infrastructure development and stimulates the economic growth of the whole region. The development of the office building market, stimulated mainly by the business services sector, is a great example of this.
– For several years, business services centers has been the driving force behind the development of office markets in cities outside Warsaw. Furthermore, agreements signed by the sector are characterized by the huge volumes of selected space. As a result of dynamic structural development, BPO/SSC companies now occupy ca. 1.5 million sq m of office space. The share of the sector in leased space in Kraków totals 56%, 49% in Łódź, while in Wrocław it accounts for 43%. On the other hand, in Warsaw, which is much more diversified in terms of tenant branches, the volume is around 7% – says Mateusz Polkowski, Associate Director, Research & Consultancy at JLL.
According to JLL, in 2014 companies from the business services sector generated up to 65% of overall demand for office space in cities outside Warsaw. Furthermore, according to Skanska Property Poland, one in every three meters leased by the sector at the time was located in buildings developed by the company. This illustrates the fact that outsourcing companies are a major recipient of modern offices. In the last three years, over 70% of offices built by the developer have been leased to services centers.
– In the last three and a half years, the overall volume of office space leased by companies from the branch in Poland has increased by 500,000 sq m. Skanska Property Poland claimed a 35% share in this growth, signing agreements for ca. 200,000 sq m of space. In Q1 of 2015, nearly 88% of space leased by us was occupied by outsourcing companies. The business services sector is an extremely demanding branch and flexible adjustments of a developer's offer to the sector's requirements has become one of the major factors that ensures success on the office market in Poland – explains Arkadiusz Rudzki, Leasing & Asset Director Skanska Property Poland.
In 2014, the biggest lease agreements were signed by companies from the business services sector including Infosys in Łódź (21,000 sq m at Green Horizon) as well as HP GBC (16,400 sq m at Dominikański) and Nokia Networks in Wrocław (14,000 sq m at West Gate). Two out of the three biggest lease agreements signed by the services branch concerned office buildings developed by Skanska (Green Horizon and Dominikański). The activity of tenants from the BPO/SSC sector in cities outside Warsaw also remains high in 2015. The agreement signed by Capgemini (5,600 sqm at Silesia Business Park B) in Katowice is a great example of this. To date, JLL has advised on the sector's biggest lease agreements in 2015.
According to the latest joint report by Skanska and JLL on young employees' expectations of their workplaces in business services centers, 90% of respondents claimed that a comfortable office had the biggest influence on their effectiveness. Modern space arrangement can encourage almost two thirds of this group to select a specific employer. The publication’s data analysis shows that the business services branch can have an enormous impact on the development of the office market in Poland.
– Among managers of services centers, an awareness of the importance of building employer brand is growing. Those companies often recruit large numbers of employees with specific qualifications, at short notice. Therefore, they focus on creating an appealing image in order to attract the most talented workers and prevent staff turnover. Apart from non-labor benefits, attractive office space is one of the most successive tools – confirms Zuzanna Mikołajczyk, Commercial and Marketing Director, Board Member at Mikomax Smart Office.
In the long term, the sector will continue to experience huge demand for workers, employment growth and, as a consequence, the need for new office space.