The COVID-19 pandemic has been forcing corporate leadership to re-examine their real estate strategies, with many reconsidering the amount of space dedicated to the traditional office.
Corporate giants such as Twitter, Morgan Stanley, and Barclays have all publicly questioned their future real estate requirements and the amount of space they dedicate to traditional office space.
There’s a debate on whether offices will be relevant post-COVID. Some corporates have declared permanent work from home arrangements for employees and plans to downsize their real estate footprint in the next few years.
In this podcast, our host, Art Patnaude, has a dialogue with Roddy Allan, JLL’s Chief Research Officer, Asia Pacific, who’s back in the Hong Kong office, and Marina Krishnan, Division President, Corporate Solutions speaking to us from her home office in Singapore.
The topic at hand – the future of the office.
Change, to some extent, is inevitable, and indeed welcomed, says Roddy Allan, Chief Research Officer, Asia Pacific, JLL. “But is this Asia Pacific real estate’s Uber moment? No. We believe that this impact and change is overestimated in the medium-to-long term,” he says.
While the office, as we know, will evolve, we have seen clients increasingly focused on sustainability, wellness, and technology. Some have begun making environmental tweaks and upgrades to align with commitments of building trust and ensuring fit-for-purpose spaces. Owners and investors who can take advantage of this opportunity to think about long-term redevelopment plans and designing or re-fitting their facilities will benefit greatly.
In the long run, this could mean office space and location requirements may change. However, a factor that is also being considering by corporations when making decisions is the professional environment that offices provide, which are leading to more conversations on re-purposing or redesigning work areas to provide infrastructure for collaboration among remote and on-site staff.
Essentially, while remote working will remain an option and provides employees with a choice depending on the type of work performed, we think here remains a strong case for the office’s long-term future.