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MUMBAI: India’s top seven commercial real estate markets including Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune have emerged as the most economical office interior fit-out markets in the Asia Pacific region, showed a Cushman & Wakefield study.

Key cities in Japan and Australia continued to dominate the top 10 list of most expensive office fit-out locations in Asia Pacific with average fit-out cost of $150 per sq ft. Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Sydney lead the rankings, with Melbourne climbing four spots to fifth this year, the study revealed.

“From an office design perspective, the workplace will evolve from a regular office to a place for networking and with a social feel. We expect that while social distancing and a flexible work policy will reduce the number of seats in an office, there would also be a bigger focus on agile seating formats,” said Shashi Bushan, Managing Director, Project & Development Services, Occupiers – India, Cushman & Wakefield.

Mumbai remains the most expensive office market in the country with an average fit-out cost of $133 per sq ft. The average office interior fit-out cost in New Delhi stood at $126 per sq ft and $33 in Chennai.

Post-Covid-19, the focus on health and safety is expected to continue to intensify, bringing forward greater adoption of touchless technology, improved heating, ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and smarter cleaning practices.

“We expect the companies to place more emphasis on employee wellbeing, hygiene, safety and security given that the pandemic has underscored the requirement to do so. Based on our interaction with our clients, we are observing that companies are inclined to de-densify their offices with this objective in mind.While the fit-out cost is already low in India, it will further decrease with de-densification of offices, and modernisation and industrialization that is underway in Indian office interior construction industry,” said Tushar Mittal, Managing Director of SKV, an interior design firm specializing in commercial offices.

While work from home is gaining ground, lots of employers see a need to scale up the usable area for each employee. Several companies are expected to modify their offices to suit new norms and guidelines.

Prolonged, enforced working from home has highlighted that productivity can be maintained, but at the cost of personal connection to colleagues and company culture. This raises questions around the optimal size and composition of the corporate footprint, while highlighting the need for ongoing investment into IT and audio-visual technology for collaborative team working. All these factors are important considerations as companies remain laser-focused on costs.



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