Making hybrid work productive with technology and wellness

As hybrid work becomes part of corporate culture, Philippine property firms will need to step up investments in new technology, wellness and sustainability in real estate planning in the next three years, according to a new research by real estate consultant JLL.

JLL’s The Future of Work report revealed that hybrid work is here to stay, with 56 percent of Asia Pacific organizations making remote working available to all employees by 2025.

The report said that successfully operating hybrid work will be the top strategic priority over the next three years, according to corporate real estate (CRE) executives.

This means exploring flexible space options, with the average proportion of flexible spaces in Asia Pacific expected to grow between now and 2025.

“We see that organizations will accelerate strategic investments over the next three years to realize their long-term workforce and workplace priorities, and the remaining four months of 2022 will be a critical phase for CRE strategy,” said JLL Philippines country head Joey Radovan.

JLL’s research showed the shift to hybrid work has become a marker of change in the workplace, which has highlighted how companies can support employee mental well-being and maintain productivity. 

Likewise, 80 percent of organizations prioritize quality space, as employees and companies increasingly require better workplaces, health and wellbeing amenities, and sustainability.

“As the office continues to evolve post-pandemic into a destination for collaboration, occupiers will need to continue increasing their investments in creative spaces,” said Work Dynamics Research head for Asia Pacific James Taylor. 

“Real estate portfolio strategies to enhance social interaction among a geographically dispersed workforce will be more important than ever, and the focus is on organizations to create offices with less me-space and more we-space,” he said.

Sustainability strategies will also play a key factor in real estate decisions as JLL’s report showed 71 percent of organizations are likely to pay a premium for green building credentials in the future.

This is especially as buildings account for over 60 percent of carbon emissions in cities.

Apart from the environmental impact, diversity, inclusion and wellbeing are also major considerations of companies in further building investment and resources.

The report showed that eight out of 10 respondents agree that their organizations are making the workplace more inclusive and diverse for all employees.

With flexible working spaces and environmental ambitions playing critical roles in a hybrid workplace, JLL said CRE leaders will need to focus more on harnessing specialist skills to achieve their strategic objectives. 

The report showed more than half of CRE leaders expect to rely more on outsourcing to pursue their health and wellbeing services, and sustainability strategy by 2025.

 “Planning is a never-ending process, with its rewards obtainable by those equipped with the right insight, strategy, and resources. I encourage investors and locators alike to take this time to review your business goals and revisit your plans to achieve them. If there is a time to pivot, that time is today,” Radovan said.

While the Philippines’ awareness on sustainability practices has grown, JLL’s latest research has identified five critical areas for organizations to consider for a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future of work, namely:

• Hybrid work is here to stay and calls for the rejuvenation of the office

• In the near term, investing in quality space will be a greater priority than expanding total  footprint

• Environmental and social aspirations will shape future portfolio transformation

• CRE functions need to double down on intelligent technology investments

• Real estate needs are becoming more sophisticated and complex.