ESG Compliant Workspaces: A Key Factor in Talent Attraction, Says Colliers Expert

news 12-Sep-2023 Business

ESG Compliant Workspaces Fuel Talent Attraction

Hong Kong occupiers turn to environmentally and socially responsible offices to attract top talent.

Hong Kong occupiers are prioritizing the selection of higher-quality office buildings that align with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. Not only does this display compliance with regulations, but it also serves as a magnet for attracting highly skilled professionals.

Abhishek Bajpai, Managing Director of Asia Occupier Services at Colliers, emphasized the significance of ESG and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) policies in the eyes of the current workforce. Bajpai noted that prospective employees are increasingly seeking assurance that companies not only articulate their ESG commitments but also implement them in practice.

Given this trend, Bajpai urged occupiers to position ESG at the forefront of their location strategies. While incorporating ESG elements into an office may come at an additional cost, it yields long-term benefits by aligning with talent preferences.

When selecting a location, Bajpai stressed the importance of considering the proximity to both employees and customers. By choosing an office conveniently situated for all stakeholders, companies can enhance engagement and foster collaboration.

Furthermore, Bajpai noted that post-pandemic workplaces should focus on creating an environment that encourages employee engagement. Businesses that successfully attract talent during the ongoing talent shortage are those that prioritize engaging with their workforce and genuinely prioritize ESG and DE&I values.

In the context of collaboration spaces, Bajpai emphasized their increased significance in post-pandemic offices. He pointed out that employees no longer desire an office solely for conference calls, as remote work has proven its efficacy in this regard. Instead, the office should foster effective teamwork and in-person collaboration, especially considering the impending prevalence of hybrid work arrangements.

Bajpai underscored the importance of tailoring workspace strategies to individual organizations. He emphasized that a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective, urging companies to assess their unique needs and industry requirements. Workspace strategies should align with a company's brand, asking whether the office truly lives up to its purpose and suits the talent it seeks to attract.

To facilitate seamless hybrid work, Bajpai recommended the incorporation of technologies that enhance comfort and productivity both in-office and remotely.

In its Global Occupier Outlook, Colliers provided three key recommendations for companies. The first centers on defining, implementing, and communicating occupancy policies. By transparently outlining principles and objectives regarding hybrid and remote work, organizations can alleviate confusion and anxiety among employees, as well as plan more effectively.

Colliers also advised companies to attract employees back to the office willingly rather than enforcing their return. Creating an environment that appeals to employees by fostering collaboration, learning, and enjoyment is crucial in encouraging their physical presence.

Lastly, Colliers emphasized the importance of exploring non-traditional leases and office arrangements to enhance resilience. By incorporating flexible spaces and shorter leases, occupiers can align their real estate strategies with evolving economic conditions.

As Hong Kong occupiers adapt to the priorities of the modern workforce, ESG-compliant workspaces are becoming central to their talent attraction and retention efforts. Companies that embrace these principles, foster employee engagement, and tailor workspace strategies to their unique needs will thrive in the evolving landscape of work.

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