2022 Asia Pacific Office Occupier Survey
Crafting Post-Pandemic Office
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
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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Henry Chin, Ph.D.
Global Head of Investor Thought Leadership & Head of Research, Asia Pacific
Ada Choi, CFA
Head of Occupier Research & Head of Data Intelligence and Management, Research, Asia Pacific