In the wake of the second wave of Covid-19, the demand for office space has seen a decline as leasing volumes fell by 30-35 per cent in January- March. However, an Anarock report predicts positive commercial office leasing prospects for 2022 based on the hiring trends of large IIT/ITeS firms in the recent past, which would create a demand for office space.
"The top four Indian IT/ITeS firms - TCS, Infosys, HCL and Wipro - alone hired around 42,000 employees in the first nine months of FY 2021. Also, multinational majors Cognizant and Capgemini hired nearly 39,500 employees in CY 2020, with bulk-hiring plans for CY 2021," Prashant Thakur, Anarock Property Consultants Director & Head of Research, said.
Several IT firms are on a hiring spree to accelerate their business post-pandemic, which bodes well for office space demands in 2022 and 2023 as normalcy is retrieved with the added workforce.
"The IT/ITeS sectors are among the prime drivers of overall leasing activity in the top cities. Bulk hiring by these firms will influence the demand for large quality office spaces," the report said.
Additionally, firms would also need to de-densify their spaces given the new Covid norms and increased health measures. Thus, the space needed per employee would rise from 80 square feet to at least 120-130 square feet per employee post-Covid, the report adds. However, with the second wave of Covid-19 coupled with work from home, office leasing recovery might be delayed.