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News Release

Bangkok

Companies Seeking Strategies to Minimise Office Space Requirements

Workplace strategies play a more vital role


​​The average office rent across Bangkok has jumped by more than 28% over the past four years from THB 390 per square metre per month in 2011 to THB 500 per square metre per month at present and is likely to rise further, though the pace of rental growth may be slower as a considerable amount of new office supply is coming on stream. This has forced companies to put a stronger emphasis on smart workplace strategies to maximize efficiency of their workplace, and consequently reduced occupancy costs.

Most of the relocations and business expansions in which JLL has recently been involved with show that more companies require less work space on a per-employee basis. While companies with 100 employees traditionally require 1,400 square metres of office space, many acquire 20 - 30% smaller offices to accommodate the same number of staff. 

Alternative workplace strategies come into play

It is possible for organizations to have smaller offices to accommodate the same number of staff by introducing alternative workplace strategies. In fact, smart alternative workplace strategies allow for not only increased efficient use of space but also improved work environment.

The most popular strategy implemented by companies is an open-plan environment whereby cube partitions are reduced or eliminated in favor of more open space.  

Hot-desking (desks are used on a first-come, first-served basis) is another approach that has gained increased popularity. 

Some companies are implementing more innovative approaches such as an introduction of team-based environments whereby teams have unassigned work areas that may include couches, tables with chairs, and huddle rooms. To make it more interesting, some companies design these areas to function like an internet café.

Telecommuting is a much-talked-about alternative workplace strategy that allows employees to work from anywhere using communication technologies. However, this strategy is not well received in Thailand as business line managers in most organisations are unfamiliar with supervising a remote team.

There is no change without challenge

Providing smaller space and/or hot-desking could result in resistance from desk workers who do not want to give up their traditional offices which could put a company at risk of losing some unhappy employees.  Concerns about distractions and lack of privacy often top the list of objections.

Therefore, the rollout of an alternative workplace strategy must be well planned and implemented. 

Having said all that, sooner or later, alternative workplace strategies will no longer be an option but become imperative for organisations as they seek new ways to reduce costs and younger workers seek employers that offer flexibility and a work-life balance.