Plug and play spaces see strong demand after typhoon

The disruption caused by typhoon Odette in the Cebu province has led Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) firms to seek for fully fitted or plug-and-play spaces to implement their business continuity plans (BCP).

“Several plug and play office facilities were immediately leased out in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette as office locators raced to keep their operations running,” said  Colliers Philippines Senior Manager of Office Services – Cebu, Winston Luna.

“We have observed that several IT-BPM players have signed leases in such facilities in the short-term or until electricity providers re-energize their employees’ respective areas,”he added.

Colliers said the IT-BPM industry, which employs about 200,000 workers in Cebu in 2021, has already been implementing a work from home setup before the typhoon to protect their employees from COVID-19.

It added that this has become more challenging after the typhoon left many residential communities heavily damaged, emphasizing that the restoration of electricity, water, and telecommunication lines would possibly take months for some places.

“Since many IT-BPM locators generate revenue on a per-seat and per-minute basis, these companies carried out BCP to immediately provide employees with an alternative workspace, which resulted in high demand for fully fitted or ‘plug-and-play’ spaces,” said Luna.

“Many occupiers searched for such options across Metro Cebu, while others even flew their employees to unaffected cities, including Metro Manila,”he added.

With the pandemic still raging and natural calamities inevitable, Colliers emphasized that having a robust BCP is crucial to ensure the protection of an organization’s operations, assets, and employees.

“With the learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic and Typhoon Odette, we urge occupiers to revisit their BCPs and consider additional office spaces as BCP sites that can accommodate employees during disruptions,” Luna said.

“Moreover, occupiers can reassess the readiness of their current office buildings in terms of their response capabilities during emergencies and technical specifications and look for quality buildings that can continuously operate for several days on generator alone,”he added.

Colliers also recommends for occupiers to explore partnerships with flexible workspace providers for BCP packages where staff will immediately have a facility to work in.

“As the needs of occupiers evolve in the face of the health and environmental emergencies, opportunities for the office leasing market to provide greater value and ensure business continuity to companies will also emerge,” Colliers said.