OFFICE SPACE IS STILL IN DEMAND
Demand is returning. In less than two years since the onset of the pandemic, much of the world has returned to pre-pandemic employment levels. By comparison, it took nearly three times as long after the Great Financial Crisis of the late 2000s for employment to return to pre-recession numbers. Tenants are taking the vacancies with an eye to long-term space needs, especially the technology, financial services, healthcare, and life sciences industries.
In the early days of pandemic, there was a concern that demand in the Seoul office market could decrease due to the possible recession and working from home, but the Seoul office vacancy rate fell to 3.5% in the first quarter of 2022, from 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2019.
HYBRID IS HERE TO STAY
Cushman & Wakefield’s report, Office of the Future Revisited, said that employees generally wanted workplace flexibility post-pandemic. A fifth of U.S. employees indicated preference to work in the office rarely and another fifth would prefer to never come to the office. Nearly a third of office workers in Spain, Mexico, and Japan have the same sentiment.
With the advent of the post-pandemic era, companies are also actively taking steps to return their employees to the office in Korea. Many companies, especially IT firms and conglomerates are adopting hybrid work.
THE ROLE OF THE OFFICE HAS CHANGED
More organizations believe the office is now the place for building culture and for inspiring creativity and innovation. Companies create an office that is the physical manifestation of culture and provide spaces that support various types of activities that need to happen in the office— meet, connect, collaborate, re-energize — that will inspire people to choose the office over their home or a third place. The workplace is turning away from the standardized personal spaces and meeting rooms and is being equipped with collaborative spaces, individual spaces for focused work, and rest areas.