Many organizations in Hong Kong have witnessed a reduction in average space usage due to high occupancy costs. New working practices (NWPs) are viewed as a reform tool to manage expensive real estate around the world. However, it is unclear whether NWPs influence office space usage in business organizations in Hong Kong. This study, therefore, aims to evaluate if the average space reduction in office firms is caused by the NWPs in the finance, insurance, real estate and business (FIREB) firms.Design/methodology/approachA total of 20 NWPs were initially derived from the extant literature. A questionnaire survey was conducted with listed FIREB firms in Hong Kong to assess the impact of the identified NWPs on space usage. The data collected from the questionnaire survey were analysed using descriptive, explorative factor analysis (EFA) and partial least squares-structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) to evaluate the effects of NWPs on average space usage.FindingsResults revealed that four major NWP factors influence average space usage. Three of these factors, namely, “flexible arrangement”, “multitasking knowledge workers” and “teamwork and communication”, influence space usage positively. Even though the effect of the fourth factor “training and networking” was significant, it does not reflect a positive influence on space usage. Business organizations can focus more on the implementation of NWPs to cushion the effects of the high cost of occupancy.Originality/valueThe research provides new knowledge to the limited literature on the effect of NWPs in FIREB firms and enriches the growing body of international literature on how today’s competitive global business organizations should revisit their workplace strategies to accommodate the rising agile workforce and NWPs. The findings offer new insights into the ongoing debate on the impact of information and communication technology-enabled NWPs on space usage. From the real estate perspective, the findings should inform policymaking towards the better planning ahead of office properties to accommodate NWPs, helping Hong Kong to remain competitive as a key financial centre.
Journal of Corporate Real Estate – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 15, 2019
Keywords: Hong Kong; PLS-SEM; Workspace; FIREB firms; New working practices; Space usage
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