CBRE bullish on long-term office outlook in Asia Pacific as Thailand adapts

CBRE bullish on long-term office outlook in Asia Pacific as Thailand adaptsThe COVID-19 pandemic has not deterred major corporate occupiers from planning to increase their office footprint in Asia Pacific. CBRE’s 2021 Asia Pacific Future of Office Survey found that many companies will look to adopt greater flexibility and h…July 26, 2021

CBRE bullish on long-term office outlook in Asia Pacific as Thailand adapts

CBRE bullish on long-term office outlook in Asia Pacific as Thailand adapts

The office outlook in Asia Pacific is positive although firms now have different needs

The COVID-19 pandemic has not deterred major corporate occupiers from planning to increase their office footprint in Asia Pacific. CBRE’s 2021 Asia Pacific Future of Office Survey found that many companies will look to adopt greater flexibility and hybrid working models in addition to adding more physical space.

The consultancy expects employees will work from the office more often than they work from home once the pandemic passes but doesn’t expect most companies to fully embrace Work From Home (WFH). Instead, hybrid models are most likely to be utilize with these only having a limited impact on the long-term office outlook in Asia Pacific.

“Offices are set to drive collaboration and connectivity more than ever, and workplace design will need to be adjusted and recalibrated accordingly. CBRE expects demand for space allocated to unscheduled catch-ups and communal space to increase. As a result of hybrid working, companies will consider reducing the number of large meeting rooms as employees do individual work and conduct small project team meetings more frequently,” Ada Choi, CBRE’s Asia Pacific Head of Occupier Research, Data Intelligence and Management, pointed out. “At the same time, occupiers are likely to increase expectation on landlords to provide on-demand solutions and services for large meetings and events.”

Related: Identifying key workplace trends for the second half of 2021

CBRE sees Asian businesses looking to expand as a key driver of the long-term office outlook in Asia Pacific. Tech companies and some investment and insurance firms will be those with the most demand.

“Investors should take note of the strong occupier intentions to expand over the medium term, particularly among Asian companies. Assets with a good tenant profile catering to market segments benefitting from growth, such as the technology; media and telecommunications sector; and Asia-based companies, are well-placed to outperform,” Dr. Henry Chin, Global Head of Investor Thought Leadership, and Head of Research, Asia Pacific, stated. “CBRE also advises investors to track growing occupier demand for assets offering wellness, technology and flexibility, and consider a service offering featuring flexible offices and meeting space on demand.”

Thailand office sector adjusts to the “New Normal”

Many firms in Thailand are still adjusting to just how the “New Normal” will disrupt operations. CBRE doesn’t expect this to negatively impact office demand, but it will change what businesses require from their workspace.

“For Thailand, the experiment with remote working during the lockdown has yielded encouraging results, and several companies intend to continue allowing employees to do so. In turn, it is prompting a reevaluation of their workforce strategy with a focus on cost savings on office space,” Roongrat Veeraparkkaroon, Head of Commercial Transaction Services, CBRE Thailand, said. “But rather than putting a damper on office demand as a result of the anticipated shift to more remote working, CBRE believes occupiers will continue to demand a physical workplace, albeit a digitally enhanced one that provides a variety of settings to facilitate different working styles and is more effective in supporting collaboration, teamwork, engagement, and innovation.”