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Comparing prices of office space across cities in Asia

Just a little over a year ago, Asian cities were found to have the most expensive – and premium – offices in the world. Cities like Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo were becoming more and more attractive for local and international business prospects, and the demand for office space was on the rise (pre-pandemic, of course!)

Now, more and more companies are calling their employees back to the office as CoVID-19 regulations gradually ease up across Asia. However, employers are faced with a difficult decision to make – is the cost of a traditional office space really worth it, especially when regulations could change at any minute and lockdowns can be put in place almost overnight?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the prices of office spaces in key Asian cities and discuss other options available to businesses.

Pricing comparison: Office spaces in Asia

Source: Colliers International (Q2 2020 report)
*Rents shown are net effective rents on an NFA basis per sq metre per year (USD)

Office real estate is pretty pricey in many cities in Asia, with Tokyo being at the top of the list. Office rental prices are estimated at USD1,317 per sqm of office space in Tokyo as of the second quarter of 2020 – back when the pandemic was in full force and businesses were rushing to adapt accordingly.

Following close behind are Hong Kong (USD1281/sqm), Singapore (USD989/sqm) and Beijing (USD873/sqm).

Of course, rental prices aren’t all that goes into running a functional office. These prices are just the beginning.

Additional Office Costs

Once you’ve found the ideal office space, it’s time to furnish it! You’ll need to ensure you have everything your employees need to work comfortably and effectively. A basic list of additional costs would account for:

  • Fit-out costs when moving in & reinstatement cost when moving out
  • Furniture (desks, chairs, cabinets, whiteboard, etc)
  • Equipment (computers, second monitors, projectors, etc)
  • Utilities & management (electricity, water, building management fees, cleaning, office administration, insurance…)
  • Internet, Telephone, Printer & Copiers
  • Decoration & pantry (plants, lighting, coffee machine…)

Some of these costs are upfront and occasional, however, other costs such as utilities and management fees certainly add up over time! Not to mention, as your business grows, you’ll require higher quality or more advanced furnishings and office equipment.

An alternative: Coworking spaces

Coworking spaces certainly shot up in popularity during the CoVID-19 pandemic, as they provided an easy solution for businesses that needed flexible office rentals. Flexibility is certainly a key aspect of effective work, both from an organizational and individual’s perspective.

Coworking spaces and serviced offices definitely have much more to offer than simple flexibility, however. They provide unique, often tailored, office spaces with no hidden costs associated. Access to high-quality equipment such as printers, and necessary facilities such as phone booths for private meetings, are also included. Some coworking spaces may charge additional fees for the use of other workspaces, such as meeting rooms priced on an hourly or daily basis, but these costs are all mentioned upfront.

Additionally, coworking spaces are an excellent place to grow and nurture your business. Apart from the obvious benefit of networking, most coworking spaces manage all administrative and operational tasks for you. This includes general office administration, mail/parcel collection, basic receptionist services, IT support, etc. Instead of worrying about the minutiae of daily work, you can focus on your core business activities and really drive your organization towards success.

Understanding your office space needs

Geared towards helping organizations succeed in the digital age, FLYDESK offers assistance with finding the ideal workspace. Whether you prefer a more traditional office environment, or if you’re looking to implement or enhance flexible work arrangements, we’ll be able to walk you through the whole process, step-by-step. We’ll also show you how you can find the perfect office space that meets all your requirements, while also saving on costs!

A simple, free resource to better understand how much office space you actually need is FLYDESK’s office space calculator. All you need to do is enter some basic information about the size of your organization as well as any specific requirements, and you’ll be provided with a custom report covering office size and budget estimates.

This report will also provide key insights on the ideal configuration for your office, to ensure efficient and productive work. This includes desks, private offices, meeting rooms, breakout areas, and more. It can also integrate desk sharing to optimize your budget even more.

The FLYDESK App also offers support for hybrid office management. Key features include the ability to book desks in a shared office in advance, as well as check-in on arrival to improve visibility amongst team members. Additionally, you can book on-demand meeting rooms, desks, and satellite offices via the app.

Inflexible, long-term leases are certainly a challenge in today’s uncertain world. Plus, the high price tags are a good reason to think twice and carefully consider all your options. Coworking spaces and serviced offices offer a unique solution with the added convenience of having all the high-quality facilities and equipment you’ll need for productive work right at your fingertips.

If you’re interested in booking a coworking space for your team or organization, or if you’d like to learn more about your options, contact us at FLYDESK!

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