Research firm: Offices still vital in ‘corporate culture’

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | December 21,2020 - 05:08 PM
Research firm: Offices still vital in ‘corporate culture’


CEBU CITY, Philippines – Real estate experts in the Asia Pacific expressed confidence that workspaces will remain vital in ‘corporate culture.’

This despite projecting an increase in the costs needed to renovate office spaces.

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), in a recent report titled Asia Pacific Fit-Out Cost Guide 2020/2021, said that average fit-out cost in offices in the entire Asia Pacific region could rise up to 4.7 percent on-year due to multiple factors this 2021.

These included labor shortages, health and safety considerations, material availability, and higher delivery costs.

“Cities that rely heavily on foreign labour have struggled with labour shortages, and governments have imposed stringent measures, including enhanced inspection routines and enforced health and safety protocols, for construction sites to reopen. These are important and necessary precautions. However, the impact on productivity and extended project timelines are driving costs up,” said Martin Hinge, JLL – Asia Pacific Executive Managing Director for Project Development Services.

Among all major cities in the Asia Pacific, JLL ranked Tokyo as the city with the most expensive fit-out rates in office spaces.

Hinge also said their outlook shows that fit-out costs, although may wary from market to market around the region, will have an overall upward trend throughout 2021.

“Workplaces will continue evolving, and there remains a strong motivation for companies to invest in areas such as technology, health, and wellness, to meet increased expectations from employees, as we all adjust to the new normal,” he explained.

But JLL stated these developments remain as minors bump as offices around the region invest in ‘a safe and productive work environments’ for their employees.

“The firm reveals that while organizations may be re-examining their real estate footprint, workspaces still play an integral role in preserving a company’s corporate culture, as well as to recruit and retain talent,” portions of the report.

Calum Swinnerton, head of Project and Development Services in JLL-Philippines, added that companies this year are re-channeling expenditures for upgrades that align with the need for a safer workspace environment.

“This year, organizations were prompted to put employee well-being and sustainability at the forefront of their priorities while mitigating the financial impact of the pandemic on their business, and this has impacted the design of the workplace,” said Swinnterton.

“It’s all about balance in terms of costs. As people are starting to return to work, employers are now looking into accommodating de-densification measures while incorporating more technologies,” he said.

In Cebu, JLL – Philippines, in an earlier presentation, projected that offices here will also remain an important aspect among organizations, especially with Manila-based tenants looking for cheaper alternatives outside the country’s capital.


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