Flexibility the norm in the office of the future: Lombardo of Lendlease

By Charlene Chin
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The norms of working from an office have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with some businesses scaling down their office footprint, halting physical operations and embracing work from home instead.
Against such a backdrop, the needs of office tenants have changed. One such trend is the decentralisation of offices, says Tony Lombardo, CEO of Lendlease Asia, who foresees more companies adopting multi-location strategies. “Companies are beginning to explore hub-and-spoke solutions to accommodate both urban and suburban locations, to support employees who prefer to commute alone to a dedicated workspace as opposed to commuting via public transport to a dense urban location, such as the CBD,” he says.
Occupying over 4ha of land, Paya Lebar Quarter comprises three Grade-A office towers that span one million sq ft, PLQ mall, and a residential component of 429 units (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
Clients have also started to establish back-up offices, just in case the existing office has to be closed down temporarily, he adds.
The Australian-listed developer operates its own flexible workspace brand, csuites, which takes up 72,000 sq ft in one of three Grade-A office towers in Paya Lebar Quarter. Due to the need for flexibility by businesses, csuites has seen a hike in enquiries from firms as they rethink their office footprint. In fact, Lombardo is confident that the number of such enquiries is set to “increase and remain strong”, and reveals that the team is keen to explore shorter leases for its clients, at a smaller pax requirement for its office suites offering.
The second change that Lombardo expects is that staff will have to adopt flexible working habits. “As employers and employees alike get more comfortable with remote working, it is likely that employers will likely want and need to accommodate a higher percentage of workers with flexible or split schedules between their homes and their offices,” says Lombardo.
Companies are beginning to explore hub-and-spoke solutions to accommodate both urban and suburban locations: Lombardo (Credit: Albert Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
Third, space design will have to be relooked at. “Tenants and building owners will need to reevaluate communal spaces, shared amenities, and potentially crowded ‘bottlenecks’ including lobbies, elevators, bathrooms and cafes,” says Lombardo. Tech facilities that include audio and video conferencing amenities are key to ensure employees are connected to one another, he adds.
Fourth, the future workplace needs to have a strong focus on health and wellness. “Clear communication and visibility of health and cleaning protocols will be critical to address the psychological hurdle employees will face when returning to work,” Lombardo says.
Social distancing - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Social distancing at csuites (Credit: Lendlease)
Some of the measures Lendlease have adopted in csuites include ramping up the frequency of cleaning at high touchpoints, and sanitising all parcels that are delivered to its tenants. The work desks in csuites have also been spaced out, while access to the office space has been limited to members only.
For price trends, recent transactions, other project info, check out these projects' research page: Paya Lebar Quarter
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