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Wellness and ESG crucial for Asia Pacific office occupiers

31st March 2023

The evolution of the workspace and corporate culture means landlords need to take account of wellness and sustainability, a panel of industry experts agreed.

Developer Hongkong Land hosted a panel with two of its commercial tenants, JP Morgan and White & Case, along with Cushman & Wakefield and architectural firm M Moser Associates in Hong Kong this week, to discuss the evolution of the workspace and corporate culture, and its impact on Hong Kong’s office market. 

Panellists agreed that occupiers want to align their office space with their corporate culture and sustainability is a big part of this. “JP Morgan focuses on bringing five pillars to life in its premises - hospitality, sustainability, wellness, flexibility and technology,” said Jun Nepomuceno, Asia Pacific regional head, global real estate, at JP Morgan. 

Margie Chan, Partner at White & Case Hong Kong, said: “Sustainability is certainly key to our choice of location. ESG is part of the decision process which our own clients use when choosing legal representation.”

“As sustainability and DEI become standard to companies’ operations, prospective tenants are increasingly looking to their landlord’s ESG credentials,” said Rosanna Tang, head of research at Cushman & Wakefield Hong Kong. 

“According to our recent research, in Hong Kong, within the same office submarket, green-certified offices seem to have outperformed those buildings without such credentials. The occupancy difference observed typically ranges between 3% to 5%, whilst the rental difference could range from 5%-25%.”

Meanwhile, wellness is a key part of the package occupiers want to offer their staff. Nepomuceno said: “In our Hong Kong offices, we have installed features which support workplace wellness, such as de-stress areas, system controlled sunshades that optimise natural light, indoor air quality monitoring, height adjustable desks, mothers’ rooms, baristas, multi-purpose space for training facilities and townhalls, as well as game areas.”

Chan said: “We recently refitted our offices to bring in more light and open space for collaboration.”

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