Although flexible working practices are likely to be more widely adopted across the region, the APAC hybrid model will boast some unique features which contrast the rest of the world:
Low WFH demand, high office demand
Employee desire to work flexibly is, in general, lower in Asia Pacific markets than in the U.S. and Europe, however with a wide spectrum of variations within the region. Furthermore, employment growth and the transition to a higher proportion of office-based employment will more than offset the underlying drag on demand from remote working.
Office fit-outs still favour focused work
We have seen a global shift in how corporates are envisioning their space requirements, which in turn impacts fit-out decision-making. While fit-out typologies are changing globally, providing more collaborative spaces, the shift in Asia Pacific is likely to be more muted. With a greater proportion of employees spending more time in the office, there is more demand for focused work in APAC. While there is still the need for collaborative space and wellness activities, occupiers will increasingly expect landlords to provide these spaces within their buildings for group use. This means that proportionally less space will be devoted to collaborative work within each tenancy, which in turn will lessen the overall drag on space demand.
Focus on Sustainability and Wellbeing
In APAC, we are also seeing that occupiers increasingly seek spaces with the highest quality ESG, health and wellbeing credentials. The application of thoughtful design and fit-out standards is crucial. Project managers play a pivotal role here by exposing clients to the latest workplace design strategies and providing environmentally sensitive end-to-end solutions.