News & views

Asia-Pacific (APAC) nations are at the forefront of the global return-to-office movement

Date Posted: 11 December, 2023

In a significant shift, more employers worldwide are embracing a return to the office during the first half of 2023, according to a recent report by JLL. The data indicates that 35% of workers were back in the office five days a week, compared to 25% in the second half of 2022 and 20% in the first half of 2022.

Moreover, the trend extends to those working three to four days in the office, with 45% observed in the first half of 2023, up from 34% in the second half of 2022 and 31% in the first half of 2022. The global movement toward in-office presence is further emphasized by the fact that 87% of international organisations now encourage employees to work from the office at least some of the time. Notably, only 20% of employees work fully remotely or up to two days in the office today, a significant drop from 39% a year ago.

Susheel Koul, CEO for work dynamics in APAC at JLL, emphasised the central role of the office in work experience and culture. As more employees return several days a week, the evolving preferences for workstyles prompt a reevaluation of technology and flexible arrangements to meet these expectations.

The return-to-office momentum is particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region, with China, India, and South Korea leading the way. In the first half of the year, these countries reported employees spending over 80% of their working days in the office, with China leading at 4.7 days, followed by India at 4.4 days and South Korea at 4.2 days.

The shift is contrasted with trends in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and South America, where Belgium, Canada, France, and Switzerland reported lower numbers, ranging from 2.9 to 3.7 days.

However, adapting offices to cater not only to collective but individual needs becomes crucial. The report suggests that forward-looking companies will focus on creating social hubs that support a diverse workforce’s expectations. Andrew Peck, Senior Director for Communications in APAC at JLL, stressed the importance of designing workspaces that strike a balance between collaborative and focused work, bringing together technology and design.

Ultimately, a successful hybrid strategy, according to JLL, involves balancing social and focused workspaces, developing a hybrid playbook, monitoring working habits, and holistically considering employee well-being, performance, and sustainability. As the workforce craves a destination for human connection, the offices of the future must evolve into dynamic spaces that effectively meet the diverse needs of employees, fostering collaboration and supporting focused work. The question remains: In this rapidly evolving landscape, how do you envision the future of work, and what strategies will your organisation implement to create a thriving hybrid work environment?


(Source Link)