BPOs set trend in building management
Local BPOs are now laying out a whole new range of perks like showers and bicycle parking slots to address the needs of prospective occupiers whose employees belong to the millennial generation who have active lifestyles.
BPOs in the country will generate an additional 200,000 full-time employees in 2016, requiring at least an additional 500,000 sqm. of office space each year, said Henry Torremonia, JLL head of property management. Property developers have had to address the needs of prospective BPO occupiers. It is an employee retention tool, that includes perks like showers and locker rooms, for millennial-generation employees who run, bike and engage in fitness programs before or after work, or during breaks.
“That’s how competitive the BPO labor market, and consequently the office building market, has become,” he said.
“Lose the atrium”
JLL advises developers and landlords, along with their architects and interior designers, as plans are drawn for an office building. Said Torremonia, “we advise landlords and developers to optimize the building’s design, considering the operational needs of its prospective tenants, even before breaking ground. A property owner, for instance, may desire a building lobby with a soaring atrium. When we point out that high ceilings will require more air-conditioning, higher equipment and maintenance costs, and lost revenue from potential gross leasable space, the majority choose to modify their plans.”
JLL Philippines’ property and asset managers also advise new building owners on environmental trends in light of climate change. Typhoons have registered higher wind velocity and the city’s drainage systems are challenged by unprecedented urban development. JLL advises developers, for example, to utilize curtain walls that can withstand winds of up to 300 kph, as against the 200 kph benchmark of a decade ago. And, in areas prone to storm surges and flooding, they recommend installing flood barriers or metal fences of up to six feet high to manage the risk of flood damage.
Value your investment
The advice offered by JLL is drawn from close to 20 years of managing real estate in the country and over 50 years in Asia Pacific, with the objective of looking at the client’s building as a true investment, an asset that will appreciate over the long term.
With BPOs taking up the bulk of new offices being built, as they operate around the clock, JLL consultants advise clients to provide for the replacement of capital equipment at an earlier time in its typical lifecycle. Air-conditioning manufacturers new to the concept of 24/7 BPO operations, for instance, may claim that their equipment has a lifecycle of eight to 10 years. That number is now down to around five years.