New Research

Metropolitan Areas Office Demand Survey Autumn 2018
The expansion of workstyle reforms and changes in office demand

In the past several years, companies have been promoting workstyle reforms aimed at securing personnel on the back of increased revenues and improving productivity, with more companies shifting from the conventional, inflexible workstyle to one that is not constrained by place or time. These trends are likely to have quantitative and qualitative effects on office demand.

Since autumn 2016, Xymax Real Estate Institute (hereinafter, "Xymax REI") has been conducting surveys on companies' use of offices and workstyles on a semi-annual basis and has continuously analyzed their relationship between office demand. This report covers the results of the fifth survey.

Related surveys:

Summary of Survey Results
  1. Change in office demand (October 2017–September 2018) (Pages 3–7)

    37.9% of companies saw an increase in the number of office users over the past year, exceeding companies that saw a decrease (14.0%). 8.3% of companies expanded their office space, while 2.7% downsized, indicating that office demand was robust. (Figures 1, 2)

    • The result was similar for rent per tsubo (incl. CAM): Increased (18.4%) Decreased (1.1%). The percentage of companies that saw an increase in rent per tsubo has been rising every half year.
    • 39.1% of companies think their current office is not large enough.
  2. Promoting workstyle reforms (Pages 8–13)

    Companies that were currently promoting workstyle reforms and those that had already carried out workstyle reforms accounted for 41.5%. When including companies that were planning or considering promoting the reforms, around 60% of companies will promote or have promoted the reforms. (Figure 6)

    • The top motive of carrying out workstyle reforms was “decision of management” (79.7%) and the top purpose was to “improve productivity” (70.7%).
    • 70.7% of companies felt the effects of workstyle reforms “very much” or “somewhat.”
  3. Diversification of workplaces (Pages 14–22)

    In terms of the layout of the current office, more companies are introducing spaces that can be used flexibly with no restriction of usage. More companies are also providing places and programs for telework, indicating that efforts to provide alternative workplaces are progressing both in and outside the office. (Figures 15, 19)

    • Compared to the past two surveys, there was an increase in spaces for flexible usages, such as open meeting space, space for refreshing, and hot-desking.
    • 26.6% of companies were making efforts to provide places and programs for telework. The work-from-home program (18.5%), which was the top reply for the type of telework, increased from two years ago and was unchanged from a year ago, while the use of serviced offices and satellite offices increased, indicating that alternative workplaces are becoming more available.
    • Initiatives to offer more alternative workplaces are actively pursued by large companies (with 1,000 employees or more) and in the telecommunications industry, as a way to support telework.
    • The most popular telework support measure by companies that had set eligibility criteria for telework or rules on the frequency of telework was the work-from-home program, while the least popular support measure was satellite offices.
    • As for strategies companies were interested in toward the future, open meeting spaces may be implemented by a majority (56.4%) of companies at a future point in time, including those that have already provided such spaces and those that have not but are interested. The result also indicated that around 40% of the companies might implement space for refreshing (42.5%) and hot-desking (38.5%) in the future.
    • Companies that had introduced flexible layouts, such as space for refreshing and hot-desking, had a smaller size of office per person than companies that had not introduced such layouts. The same trend was seen among companies that had introduced telework.
  4. What companies require in an office (Pages 23–26)

    In terms of the importance of requirements in offices, the total percentage of “very important” and “important” tangible and intangible elements grew in general compared to the Autumn 2017 survey, suggesting greater requirements in offices. (Figures 28, 29)

    • The most required tangible element (e.g. building specifications) was “convenient location” (89.6%), while the most required intangible elements included “enables employees to work comfortably” (90.3%) and “motivates employees” (88.2%), indicating companies’ awareness of employee satisfaction.
  5. Topic: Future office strategy (Pages 27–28)

    In terms of future office strategies, the top reply for head offices was to consolidate in the city center with good accessibility (66.0%). On the other hand, the top replies for offices other than the head office were to enhance work from home (50.4%) and to provide workspaces in various locations outside the head office (44.2%), both exceeding the strategy of consolidating offices into the head office as much as possible (31.4%). (Figures 31, 32)
    We believe that while head offices for “congregating” purposes will remain in demand, there will be more alternative workplaces as companies’ awareness changes.

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