COVID-19 has forced people to work and live differently while altering several presumptions on crucial factors such as flexibility, convenience, productivity, and how people use the workplace going forward.
While doing so, it has also defied almost every prediction about the death of the office. Two years into the pandemic, everyone knows the office is here to stay but its role is set to change as the future of work and workplaces evolve.
The key is a revival in active demand supported by solid market fundamentals, robust hiring in the tech sector, and return to work strategies companies are gradually rolling out. Looking ahead, return to office has a positive near-term impact on office demand.
We expect office leasing to pick up pace as uncertainty erodes and the focus shifts towards sustaining business growth by Q1 2022. Leasing activity is likely to pick up pace as uncertainty erodes and the focus shifts towards sustainable business growth. Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, and Hyderabad will continue to dominate the fresh demand in 2022. We expect markets such as Noida and Navi Mumbai to perform well with growing interest from tech companies to set up larger centres. Pune and Chennai are also expected to bounce back strongly with growing occupier interest. That said, the new supply has to catch up with the rebound in 2022-23 as occupiers increasingly favour newer spaces with a focus on safety and wellness.
As CRE leaders prepare for the next normal post-pandemic, 2022 will redefine the discourse on return-to-work strategies, technology adoption, flexible work, and how employees connect to their companies, etc. and we believe that it is essential for organizations to adapt to such longer-term shifts.
Concerns around the new variant could reverberate in the short term, but occupiers are balancing productivity and safety, and it appears that the office market is positioned at the forefront of the recovery.
We believe 2022 is a window to the future as we step into the new normal and the office market’s performance over the next 9-12 months would be crucial in setting up the stage for a full-fledged recovery in the post COVID scenario.