Co-working spaces preferred to long-term office rental post-Covid

THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2024

After suffering declining domestic demand due to Covid-19, providers of office and co-working spaces in Thailand are now enjoying higher tenancy rates from a new target group: expats working for multinational corporations, according to IWG Plc, a British-based provider of serviced offices under several brand names.

These corporations see Thailand as having the same potential as Singapore in accommodating expat executives, thanks to the tax benefits offered to foreigners on work visas in Thailand, Thitiwat Thanapornnithinan, IWG’s country manager for Thailand, said on Wednesday.

“Thailand also has several advantages over Singapore or Malaysia, such as more flexibility on working from home, lower wages and cost of living, while locals also speak English to a usable level,” he added.

Thitiwat said that during and since the outbreak, companies in Thailand have adopted a hybrid workspace policy, allowing employees to work from home to save on office rental.

Starting in 2023, several office buildings have reported plummeting occupancy to below 70%, forcing some to cut the rent by 25%, said Thitiwat. Others have been providing more benefits to attract new tenants such as shorter lease terms and joining up with other co-working spaces to increase the variety of services on offer.

He said that companies hiring expats in Thailand, especially those in IT industry, are snapping up these office spaces at competitive prices, with available space up to 3,000 sqm.

“Even virtual offices in Thailand are in high demand among these companies,” he said, adding that this kind of service provides an address for company registration together with telephone numbers and a postal box for document drop-off.

Thitiwat said the latest trend in office space in Thailand is in line with a survey by CEOWORLD magazine, which ranked Thailand as the best country to visit in 2024 among 295,000 readers.