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CBRE’s inaugural WORK_IT: Technology | Workplace | Jobs survey has found that technology will redefine Asia Pacific’s corporate real estate order in the coming years – with landlords likely to emerge as the greatest enabler of change.
While employees’ preferences are rarely included in the corporate real estate decision-making process, rapid technological advancement is reversing this process and individuals are increasingly acting as workplace influencers. As a result, corporations’ decisions are being informed by connectivity and accessibility as well as talent attraction and retention.
Additionally, the survey found that 53% of occupiers want a more customised workplace environment that could adapt to the needs of their team. With that said, 84% of landlords expect a rise in smart buildings as a result of tech innovation.
Meanwhile, 85% of respondents expect to see an increase in mobility in their future workforce via workplace formats such as activity-based workplaces or agile workplaces.
Steve Swerdlow, chief executive officer, CBRE Asia Pacific, said: “The transitional role of technology in commercial real estate will continue to enhance and influence an evolving employee experience across Asia Pacific.”
“While location will remain important, the changing order of real estate will require buildings and work spaces to be far more flexible and adaptable than before.”
As mobile working takes hold across Asia Pacific, companies will create office environments that improve staff satisfaction and comfort. The user experience will influence real estate strategies, and technology will enable employees to customize their working location, allowing them greater flexibility in choosing, how, when and where to work.
Based on the CBRE research, companies will increase headcount in IT professionals and outsourcing/offshoring, whereas a net decline is expected in the back office function.
As a result of this growing awareness, approximately 50% of occupier respondents expect to require less office space in future, primarily because of improved space utilization and a reduction in headcount.
However, while the volume of space required will decrease, CBRE expects to see occupiers demand higher quality space. For example, 52% of respondents would like to stimulate faster learning and development. Apart from that, close to half (49%) are looking to increase collaboration in the workplace.
Dr Henry Chin, head of research, CBRE Asia Pacific, said: “Technology is enabling a more mobile workforce and requiring companies to build more agility into their headcount planning. As better space utilization, and weaker front and back office headcount growth will reduce overall demand for office space, landlords must act now to ensure they remain competitive. In time, they will emerge as the real catalyst for meaningful change.”
Lead Photo / CBRE
Infographics / CBRE