Traffic congestion in São Paulo prompts a search for flexible space

Leitura de 5min

Adoption of flexible workspaces has impacted the real estate consulting sector in the city.

Data from a ranking published in late 2013 by Dutch company Tom Tom – a specialist in navigation services – reveal that Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are among the 10 cities with the worst levels of traffic congestion on the planet. Another survey, this time by Brazil’s Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), noted that this scenario causes the São Paulo state capital annual losses of R$40 billion – about 1% of national GDP. One of the biggest congestion-related losses is the opportunity cost, best understood as the time when a professional fails to produce by virtue of being stuck in traffic. Today this amounts to R$30 billion.

Companies have become aware of the problems related to mobility time and are looking for viable ways to mitigate them. Technology is the main solution.

Today we have resources in the areas of voice, images, and ways of sharing files and documents, among others, that supersede the need for physical presence. These allow people to interconnect with complete security, regardless of where they are,” said Christina Coutinho, a senior project manager at JLL.

Coutinho, a member of Corenet’s Workplace & Strategy Committee in 2013, formed to discuss the future of corporate space, said that this new reality requires a cultural change on the part of corporations. This is particularly true with respect to the role of the manager. “It’s quite possible to be productive at a distance. In this case the manager needs to find the best way to measure the efficiency of his or her team. This is a scenario that has been changing gradually,” she said.

How does this change impact the real estate sector? According to Coutinho, only in the distribution of the workplace environment.

Logically, a company still needs its own space where it can bring staff together, promote its mission and disseminate its culture. This doesn’t change. Otherwise, the challenge is to make environments functional for their current needs and attractive for talent retention. In this case, places for socialization and collaboration occupy a larger percentage of the space than the individual areas, so coffee bars, meeting rooms and spaces for collaboration and relaxation will predominate,” she explained.

The goal here is to stimulate the exchange of information, knowledge and results. To achieve this effectively, JLL offers clients all its expertise, helping them create an ideal space that reflects their values. “In addition to increasing productivity, the workplace stimulates greater employee involvement and talent retention. In Brazil, this process still requires legislative changes. But we have seen gradual and promising change,” Coutinho said.