News release

Workplace mobility rises as flexible work arrangements and hybrid office models grow in Asia Pacific

JLL survey reveals that organisations are turning to data tracking for smarter occupancy planning

November 19, 2020

Beijing, 19 November 2020 - Companies are placing rising importance on workplace mobility, driven by a spike in flexible working arrangements and hybrid office models brought on by the pandemic. According to JLL’s latest 2020 Occupancy Benchmarking Guide, 80% of surveyed organisations in Asia Pacific are using space utilisation data to better plan for efficient mobility programmes1.

“Giving employees the choice and flexibility in where and how they work on a daily basis has become the norm, shaping a positive human experience. A comprehensive mobility strategy can empower employees to work where they will be most efficient, while helping reduce underutilized space, accommodate growth and decrease overall real estate costs,” says Wayne Wong, Head of Occupancy Planning for JLL China.

JLL’s 2020 Occupancy Benchmarking Guide, which gathered insights from 162 leaders across 91 global organisations, revealed that leaders have shown a growing desire to better understand their employees’ workplace usage habits. In fact, the number of respondents who have been tracking utilisation data has risen from 54% in 2017 to 62% in 2019, and more than half of the total respondents indicated that they will start tracking space utilisation within the next three years.

Occupancy benchmarking metrics enable more data-driven decision-making

According to JLL, key benchmarking metrics are essential when tracking space utilisation data as they support optimal workplace occupancy planning and enable occupiers to make data-driven decisions. Survey findings showed that 71% of global respondents are tracking occupancy benchmarking metrics, up from 69% recorded last year.

“With the impact of economic uncertainty, organisations are paying more attention to cost control and financial expenditure. These benchmarking metrics will help to improve their financial efficiency. We see a greater possibility in cost savings for businesses leveraging the metrics,” adds Wayne.

Occupancy/vacancy level, utilization level and density remain the top three priorities for most respondents globally, followed by cost/seat, mobility ratios and open positions.

Mobility and agility play a greater role

As more organisations attach greater importance on human experience in their working space, the workplaces have been transformed further into agile and collaborative spaces.

According to the report, 60% of the respondents have mobility programs globally compared with the percentage of 43% in 2017, and 67% of respondents report they have expansion plans for mobility programs.

Meanwhile, coworking2 also bolsters organizational agility in supporting an increasingly mobile workforce. In APAC, 44% of respondents report using coworking as part of their real estate strategy to meet short duration needs and to accommodate smaller headcounts.

“Workplace mobility helps organizations of all sizes reduce under-utilized space. It boosts efficiency and productivity, and can be a key component in attracting employees with space preferences. The growth of mobility and agility programs reflects the trend toward activity-based work, as much of the mobile population is selected based on job function,” says Wayne.

Technological advances with new considerations for data privacy

Technology continues to evolve and help businesses to optimize their workplace strategies by ensuring data accuracy, enhancing data transparency and improving data integration. As CRE technology/proptech becomes the top investment priority for CRE teams, organizations recognize the need to leverage technologies to achieve their broader business goals.

As JLL’s survey has shown, 33% of firms are exploring tech-driven options for data governance and audits, while 89% of the respondents also report data feeds from corporate systems into space tracking and planning softwares3.

However, along with the technological advances, utilization tracking also raise important new privacy concerns such as risks in presence-based sensors, cameras record video and network user tracking without permission. When utilizing these methods, planners must take extra steps to ensure compliance with all applicable privacy regulations.

“As technology continues to grow in a dynamic regulatory environment, organizations need to enhance collaboration among HR, IT and CRE teams to identify the metrics that matter to set out clear governance and be well prepared in the workplace transformation.” adds Wayne.

Read the full report here.


  1. Mobility program – A program that outlines the framework to allow employees to have unassigned seating within the organization’s physical workspace, and to work from different locations outside and inside the workspace provided by the organization.
  2. Coworking – Shared workplace, often an office used by individuals who work for different organizations.
  3. The softwares include CAFM (Computer-Aided Facilities Management) or IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management System) that can assist in tracking and planning spaces, facilities operations, asset management, room reservations and other customer or vendor service requests.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $18.0 billion in 2019, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of over 92,000 as of September 30, 2020. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit