Business parks across cities are witnessing a constant rise in footfalls with corporates asking employees to begin working from the office at least for a few days every week. As an outcome, occupancy costs have gone up from 5-7% in the two years of the pandemic to 20-50%, said, industry experts.
“In the last 2-3 weeks a record number of people were back at the parks. There is a rise every week, especially on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. In Mumbai park, occupancy is at 55-60%, where we have mainly non-IT occupiers, while in Bengaluru, it is at sub-20%. We expect a sharp increase this week," said Mike Holland, chief executive officer (CEO), Embassy REIT.
In fact, in the second half of March, occupancy costs were up significantly. For instance, Embassy Office Parks REIT saw nearly 33,000 employees attend office on Wednesday in the third week of March, and up to 35,000 on the same day in the last week across its 12 office properties in four cities. And, footfall is expected to rise further in April.
Information technology (IT) companies, among the first to adopt the work-from-home model and the largest occupiers of office space in India, also asked employees to return to the office from April, though they are likely to continue with the hybrid work model.
CapitaLand Investment Ltd, which witnessed an average occupancy of 5-7% during the pandemic, has seen three to four-fold growth in March. “Our clients are looking to welcome more employees to offices in April. We see this gaining further momentum in the coming months. A majority of our tenants are bullish about their office space requirements and believe physical office spaces are essential to enhance team dynamics, staff development, and maintain a work-life balance," said Gauri Shankar Nagabhushanam, CEO, India Business Parks, CapitaLand Investment.