Thai companies prepare for hybrid working

Thai companies prepare for hybrid working

Good outlook for long-term office demand as multinationals eye Asian expansion, says CBRE

Along with resuming their search for the right office space, Thai employers are gearing up for the concept of hybrid working in line with the majority of Asia-Pacific businesses, according to the latest survey from real estate services firm CBRE.

Most businesses in the region intend to keep hybrid working arrangements even as employees return to the office following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, but office life will be different, Maneerat said. Vichitrattana, Senior Director of Office Services at CBRE Thailand.

“More office workers are returning to the office in Thailand. However, the return will not be to office life as we knew it before the pandemic,” she said.

“Workplace priorities have evolved to support hybrid working, with measures ranging from changing the size and function of office portfolios to implementing new office features such as desktop sharing. work and smart workplace technology. There is no single strategy for companies; metrics can differ across regions, industries, and even individual teams within the same company.

“Companies that previously planned to adopt working from home at scale are now reconsidering their options, as a suitable office environment increases collaboration, efficiency, strengthens company culture and helps achieve business goals. .”

CBRE Research’s survey of more than 150 Asia-Pacific companies reveals that almost 60% expect to offer some form of hybrid working, ranging from an equal mix of office and remote working (28 %) to mainly in the office (24%) to mainly or entirely remotely (5%).

Nearly 40% of respondents expect staff to work entirely from the office, up from 26% in 2021. This contrasts sharply with the US and Europe, Middle East and Africa, where only 5% or less of companies expect staff to work entirely from the office. Desk.

The predominant preference for office work in Asia-Pacific signals a good long-term outlook for office demand, with almost half of respondents intending to increase their property portfolios over the next three years, while that 59% of multinationals plan to expand this year, up from 33% in 2021.

The survey also reveals a sharp decline in fixed seating arrangements in favor of flexible seating and activity-based working. Before the pandemic, 58% of companies had fixed seats. After the pandemic, only 28% of companies kept this practice.

These preferences vary by sector, with the financial sector seeing the strongest move away from fixed seats, while professional services firms are likely to retain more fixed seats, although some law firms are introducing desks. private unassigned for confidential work.

Adopting hybrid working will require state-of-the-art physical, human and digital facilities, with flexible open spaces (64%), good indoor air quality (52%) and contactless technology (35%) among features that companies most want to incorporate into their buildings.

About 60% of companies intend to increase their investment in workplace technology to provide a better employee experience, according to Ada Choi, head of occupant research and head of intelligence and data management for CBRE in Asia-Pacific.

“Technology will be central to the push for hybrid working, such as next-generation huddle rooms that can accommodate hybrid meetings, as well as solutions that track office space optimization,” she said. .

“To create this successful ‘phygital’ workplace, occupiers will need to make substantial investments and collaborate closely across internal functions and corporate real estate teams.”

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