After Covid-19, firms may adopt ‘split operations’ moving forward

AS the viral pandemic pushed companies to create virtual offices and employees to work from home, companies in the future may shift to new ways of doing business.

Colliers International Philippines (Colliers) sees the office market adopting new trends as soon as this global health crisis is over.

“More companies might consider implementing split operations moving forward—a portion of employees housed in flexible workspace while some are in a traditional office space,” said Joey Bondoc, senior research manager at Colliers.

Aside from that, Colliers is also looking at the potential rise in the demand for data centers as more employees work from home.

“Overall, we still see occupiers taking a wait-and-see stance. They still find Cebu, in particular, a viable location for their operations, including future expansions,” he said.

The coronavirus pandemic’s economic consequences are increasingly building up, hurting the real estate industry too.

Colliers is seeing a “softer demand” due to potential rise in unemployment or decline in remittances from Filipinos abroad, especially if the pandemic extends beyond the first half of 2020.

Completion of office and residential projects in Cebu might also face delays due to mass quarantine measures.

Real estate prices are likely to soften as a result of slowing demand.

“If condominium prices soften due to the pandemic, we see slower residential launches for 2020,” the property analyst said.

Depending on the duration of the enhanced community quarantine currently implemented in major property hubs in the country like Cebu, prices in the secondary market will also likely soften to their pre-selling levels.

“Due to work stoppage, Colliers sees delays in the completion of office and residential projects all over the country,” Bondoc said.

Property investors, he added, are also on a wait-and-see mode as the pandemic’s economic threat continues to play out on a massive scale.

“We might see a softer demand especially for residential projects. Investors are taking a wait-and-see stance. Inquiries have been deferred while some investors have requested for extension of payment deadlines,” Bondoc said.

Cebu’s ban on the entry of international visitors as a precaution to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus is hitting residential demand.

“Foreigners partly drive demand for leisure-oriented residential units in Cebu,” Bondoc said.( CSL)


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