20.02.2022, 21:32

Companies ready to spend more on office space to protect employees


Companies ready to spend more on office space to protect employees

In a new report, property services firm Cushman & Wakefield said the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 had a big impact on the office market in HCM City and Ha Noi and made remote working the norm.

So many companies have redesigned their offices and are willing to spend money on utilities that ensure employees' health and safety.

Trang Bui, general manager of Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Employees’ desire to work flexibly is becoming more and more apparent. The trend is not confined to multinational corporations any more but is also observed at small, medium and government enterprises.”

Businesses were therefore investing in technologies not only to support work but also in no-touch technologies, ventilation, air-conditioning, and smarter hygiene practices to protect employees and clients, she said.

According to the report the average cost of equipping a new office in 2022 is about US$61 per square metre, and the cost of renovating an old one is $30. It includes furniture, design consulting fees, construction, information technology, audio-visual equipment, and others.

This is still less than in major cities in the region like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Manila.

This is in line with a regional trend since the Asia Pacific is entering a pivotal moment with landlords and investors beginning to place greater emphasis on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in all aspects of real estate, it said.

With many international corporations seeking to reduce carbon emissions, retain talent and attract "green" capital, businesses need a long-term plan and vision to make their workplaces more sustainable.

While the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID has made cities more cautious, higher vaccination rates have allowed economies to reopen, giving employees peace of mind over returning to the office, and will contribute to boosting office demand in 2022.

The average asking prices for A and B grade office spaces in HCM City and Ha Noi are $39.4 and $23.5 per square metre.

The uptrend is expected to continue as the market regains its momentum once the pandemic is contained and business activities fully recover.