Offices 'far from dead,' property firm says as work from home rises


Posted at Jun 10 2020 11:16 AM | Updated as of Jun 10 2020 12:00 PM

Workers passes thru foot baths outside an office building, one of the safety precautions as part of the 'new normal' under the general community quarantine on June 1, 2020 in Quezon City. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Bringing workers back to their offices is "crucial" to increasing productivity post-lockdown, a property consulting firm said Wednesday, as most firms experiment with work from home set-ups. 

Working from home could be effective in the US or in other markets but "it does not work very well in the Philippines," Santos Knight Frank CEO Rick Santos told ANC. 

"Studies showed that people want to be in the office. I think its integral to get people back into the office and I think that’s crucial. That’s where production, creativity happens. The office space sector is far from dead, we got to get people back in the office," Santos said. 

"We’ve done some metrics and that the work from home set-up does not work very well in the Philippines, that will be reflecting in a lot of companies earnings," he added. 

The office space market also has a multiplier effect, boosting retail, residential and other economic activities in cities, Santos said. 

Almost half of the country's population was forced to stay home when the COVID-19 lockdown in Luzon was imposed in March. Companies implemented work from home set-up as businesses temporarily shut.