WFH forever? Corporate Real Estate recalibrates

Philippine Economic Zone Authority recently confirmed its plans for the 30 percent extension of work-from-home arrangements for the registered IT-BPO firms until March 2023. While this is a welcome development for the workers in the said sector, groups such as the Alliance of Call Center Workers expressed a preference for 90 percent WFH.

Some policymakers are also adamant about extending WFH arrangements as it has been seen as a “viable” way of working amid public transportation and oil price hike issues.

Looks like the employment sector, or at least the IT-BPO workers, have cozied up with their home work stations. What then will happen to corporate real estate?
In a recent survey by the global real estate services firm, JLL Philippines, the future of work sees a recalibrated version of CRE.

Moving forward in hybrid setups 

Work flexibility is indeed here to stay. 77 percent of the JLL survey respondents strongly agree that hybrid setup offers are integral to sustaining talents. Meanwhile, 53 percent of organizations are slated to make remote work permanent by 2025.

With this workplace overhaul, CRE gears up to embrace flexible space options — ones that can hit both dispersed workforce and dynamic occupancy.

Quality spaces over expansion 

How exactly will CRE cling and thrive to these flexible work options? optimize offices. In the Philippines, IT-BPO company TaskUs made rounds in TikTok for their “aesthetic cafes” in their offices. Other companies from the same sector likewise take pride in their fitness centers and mental health spaces within the office vicinity.

Shopping and logistics company Shopee is also being hailed on social media for their appealing office spaces getting not only socmed traction but also attracting young talents.

This reflects a JLL Survey result showing 77 percent of organizations agreed to expand quality spaces more than expansion. Using the brick and mortar as a basis of company growth may have been already losing its appeal.

This is the time for CRE to use office spaces allowing collaboration and creativity to flow freely.

Investing in smart spaces 

Obviously, the metrics for quality spaces include keeping up with the times. The featured JLL report shows that CRE functions need to double down on intelligent technology investment. This pertains not only to high-tech tables and top-of-the-line gadgets but also to sophisticated data centers and clouds.

The report states, “Real estate without robust technology and data investment strategy will not be competitive, resilient, and forward-looking.”

That said, equipping offices to become smart and safe spaces is the way to recalibrate and adjust with flexible working options.

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