Southeast Asia a bright spot in global flexible office market in 2023

The Executive Centre (TEC), the leading premium flexible workspace provider that serves more than 47,000 Members in 33 cities across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, has seen exceptional growth in Southeast Asia in 2023, with the momentum expected to carry on into 2024.

Led by client demand, TEC has added four new centers in Singapore, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City and Manila this year, with the latest addition in Manila on the eight floor of Ayala Triangle Gardens Tower 2 which opened last month.

These new openings are backed by consistently high demand and occupancy rates of over 90 percent across multiple markets in the region in 2023. 

As of September 2023, TEC’s centers in Singapore and Manila are leading its portfolio at 95 percent and 98 percent occupancy rates, followed not far behind by Ho Chi Minh City at 91 percent and Jakarta at 81 percent. 

With these new expansions, TEC has added almost 1,200 workstations across these four key Southeast Asian markets in 2023, representing a 33 percent increase in workstation growth.

In Singapore, demand for office space is growing as multinational companies seek to relocate to the city-state and set up headquarters there to take advantage of Singapore’s status as a gateway city and key business hub. These include firms from the financial industry such as asset managers, private wealth managers, private equity firms and family offices, as well as technology startups from across the region that are seeking to move to more flexible workspaces which will allow them to downsize or upsize nimbly.

Office demand is also bolstered by the increasing “back-to-office” momentum in Singapore, as employers tighten hybrid working policies, with CBRE’s 2023 Singapore Office Occupier Sentiment Survey finding that 64 percent of companies are focused on increasing office attendance or improving work efficiency.

Despite the “back-to-office” trend, the way tenants use office spaces has irrevocably changed since pre-COVID-19 days, as companies place greater emphasis on having access to a combination of purpose-built spaces including private offices for focused work, flexible seating, collaborative meeting rooms, and event spaces. 

In response to this increased demand for flexible seating, meeting and event spaces, TEC will be opening a new centre from the 45th to 47th floors at Singapore Land Tower in January 2024.

“We have done exceptionally well particularly in Singapore with a city average occupancy of 95 percent in 2023, at the same time, we are seeing robust demand for our upcoming new centre at Singapore Land Tower on Levels 45 to 47. TEC’s expansions are largely driven by client’s requirement and the inter-city network within SEA continue to look strong with clients having multiple presence with TEC SEA network,” said Yvonne Lim, managing director of Southeast Asia at The Executive Centre.