2022 Asia Pacific Office Occupier Survey

Crafting Post-Pandemic Office


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With the pandemic now well into its third year, nearly all markets in Asia Pacific have adopted a policy of living with COVID-19 as high vaccination rates, effective medical care and the emergence of weaker variants reduce the severity of the virus and remove the need for lockdowns and other related measures.

The findings from CBRE’s 2022 Asia Pacific Occupier Survey, which was conducted from March-April of this year, reflect this new paradigm. The report identifies and explores the five key real estate priorities for Asia Pacific occupiers in the post-pandemic era:

Real Estate Priorities in the Post-Pandemic Era

Adopting Flexible Working as the New Normal
Refining Workplace Strategies and Policies
Augmenting Office Wellness and Sustainability
Delaying the Return to the Office
Reducing Long-Term Portfolio Requirements

Adopting Flexible Working as the New Normal

Companies are displaying a clear shift towards embracing real estate strategies that recognise that the virus is here to stay, with the most significant policies being the adoption of flexible work and conception of new workplace policies to facilitate this change. The most prevalent flexible working model in Asia Pacific is ‘guided hybrid working’, characterised by a mix of office-based and remote-based work governed by a clear set of corporate guidelines and policies. ‘Just-in-case hybrid working’, involving an office-first approach combined with some flexibility to allow remote working when necessary, is the second-most popular option.

Refining Workplace Strategies and Policies

The survey finds that augmenting workplace strategies and policies to create the ideal post-pandemic office is a key priority for Asia Pacific occupiers. In order to do this, occupiers will need to prioritise: 1) Improving Workplace Flexibility; 2) Balancing “Me” and “We” Space; 3) Utilising Technology (Smart Workplace) and 4) Selecting Futureproof Buildings.

Augmenting Office Wellness and Sustainability

Another key area of focus includes strengthening workplace health and wellness. Measures to improve employee health and wellbeing have already been implemented by 61% of respondents, with a large number also prioritising resource usage and waste reduction. While initiatives related to green buildings, green leases and the use of renewable energy remain popular, many respondents have found it difficult to adopt such measures.

Facilitating a Return to the Office

After ranking highly in previous editions of the survey, fewer occupiers indicated concerns about the return to the office, with companies in most markets already having re-opened their workplaces or are currently in the process of doing so.

Pursuing Long-Term Portfolio Expansion

Occupiers continue to display positive sentiment towards the long-term outlook for office demand. Around 47% of respondents intend to increase the size of their real estate portfolios over the next three years.

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