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Southeast Asia: showcasing the future of work

Daniel Lorenzzo



A youthful population. The highest regional economic growth in the world. A technologically savvy population that is rapidly modernising. All these are characteristics of Southeast Asia – making it an ideal test bed for concepts in real estate.

JLL recently launched its Future of Work model, a framework for looking at the future of the workplace and its impact on real estate.

The model includes factors that property occupiers – and investors – should consider when creating workplaces or physical environments.

Ideally, these should be workplaces and environments that support individuals achieving their ambitions in an ever-changing, uncertain operating environment, and can be applied across asset classes.future-of-work-wheel

Our recent report, ‘New Urban Models in a Youthful Southeast Asia’ showcases new urban concepts that demonstrate the Future of Work in practice.

They provide inspiration for both occupiers, developers and investors about what is really possible to achieve in a real estate development.

To name a few:

Providing a human, authentic experience

We are living in an experience economy – and workers, shoppers, and more are looking for authentic and personal experiences. Many of these developments incorporate factors that we have identified as drivers of a truly human experience: health, well-being and access to nature and greenery – among many others.

In our report, we described how ‘many spaces slant towards bringing us back to nature or taking inspiration from nature’.

From the Hubud coworking space in Bali (which is set amongst forests and rice fields in Ubud) to the eight hectares of greenery and open space at One Bangkok, to the football field on the roof of the SM Mall of Asia in the Philippines, to the biodiversity garden at Singapore’s Marina One – these developments aspire to enhance well-being and provide experiences, not just offer a plain vanilla space. Alexandra Technopark even features farming plots alongside community and wellness amenities.

Supporting innovation

Continuous innovation is about providing technologies and environments that allow innovation and collaboration. 

The reincarnation of the Funan mall in Singapore (due for completion in 2019) includes many features that encourage innovation. These include incubator and showroom space and an open studios platform intended for creative collaboration.

The Toong shared working spaces in Vietnam states ‘innovation with tradition’ as its design premise; each location has a variety of working environments that encourage collaboration and include local heritage features.

Beyond this, we see architecture that inspires, such as the South Quarter development in South Jakarta, which is designed to look like rattan baskets.

In the area of education, the Clinical Sciences Building at HealthCity Novena (Singapore) has a simulated ward that provides an immersive experience that enhances learning.

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