Office as spaces for collaboration factor in PH occupiers’ future of work decisions
IT- IT-BPM registered business enterprises (RBEs) weigh in whether to transfer to the Board of Investments (BOI), and occupier health in spaces of collaboration plays a huge part
When the pandemic happened, working from home (WFH) was a temporary solution for businesses trying to survive. In the Philippines, business entities have had to adjust to occupancy requirements when presented with return-to-office (RTO) mandates.
Adjustments were specifically difficult for the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry, the country’s biggest occupiers, as the allowed occupancy rates kept changing over time. This is because the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)’s MC No. 2022-18 cited that a registered project or activity under an Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) administering an economic zone must be conducted within that zone to avail of incentives.
Below, a timeline of decisions by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA):
Recently, the FIRB sought a more permanent solution to the WFH dispute, and IT-BPMs are allowed to continue availing of fiscal incentives without violating Section 309 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) until January 31, 2023.
As we reach the end of the latest extension, office as spaces for collaboration factor in occupiers’ future of work decisions.
Occupier health central to future of work
“Working from home has become a very viable option, but the challenge it presents to companies is that it limits collaboration,” Nix Garchitorena, JLL Philippines’ ESS Manager, weighed in. “Hence, offices as spaces for collaboration remain a factor in business or occupiers’ decision-making amidst IT-BPM RBEs being allowed to continue implementing WFH arrangements,” she adds.
In JLL’s study, occupiers aspire to create places that are:
- Human → promoting healthy lifestyles, safety and well-being
- Green → acting for the climate and respectful of the Earth’s resources
- Authentic → promoting a strong sense of company culture and brand identity
Zooming in on the human aspect in relation to the future of work in the Philippines, Garchitorena says occupiers’ demand has shifted to focus on the following themes:
- Health & well-being: Workspaces must be ready for any occupancy rate and employee profile by integrating health & well-being features or amenities to replicate the comfort of WFH. This encourages employees to come to the office as offices function like an extension of their homes.
- Safety & security: Employees feel safe at work when exposure to physical and health risks are minimized. Similarly, companies especially in IT-BPM also feel secure when they can protect data in regulated workspaces.
- Green Features: Companies considering moving their workspace must consider technical building characteristics such as indoor air quality, temperature, humidity, and building operating procedures, as these are integral parts of the built environment. A way to start is by choosing spaces with certifications focusing on occupier health.
- Other benefits: Talent attraction and retention without sacrificing human-centricity, company culture, and productivity translate to a company’s success and long-term viability.
“As employees return to the office and the workforce recovers its momentum, flexible working spaces and environmental ambitions will increasingly become the cornerstones of a hybrid workplace,” says Joey Radovan, JLL Philippines’ Country Head.
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $19.4 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 102,000 as of September 30, 2022. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com.