Citi considers reducing office space in Asia Square tower

3 weeks ago 128

Updated

May 23, 2024, 04:40 PM

Published

May 23, 2024, 04:40 PM

Citigroup is considering reducing its office space in Singapore as remote working gains traction in the city-state. 

The bank may give up one of the six floors it occupies at Asia Square Tower 1, a retail and office tower in the Marina Bay district, according to people familiar with the matter. The decision is still under review as part of discussions over floor space, one of the people said. 

“The way of working has changed in recent years and most of our staff are on a hybrid-work model,” a Citigroup Singapore spokesperson said. “We periodically look at new ways to optimize our work spaces to encourage innovation and collaboration and meet our operational needs.”

The New York-based bank is an anchor tenant of the tower, and once leased nine floors before shifting some staff to a business park on the east end of the island near Changi Airport. The latest move comes amid a broad restructuring for the bank, which includes a plan to eliminate 20,000 roles. In March, Citi said it had concluded the “major actions” around its reorganization plan. 

Singapore recently announced that from December, all employers must have a process for workers to request flexible work arrangements. They include four-day work weeks and more work-from-home days. Employees will also be entitled to ask for other arrangements, such as flexible locations.

Singapore’s commercial real estate market has defied a global property downturn, with office rents hitting a 15-year high in the first quarter, while vacancies for prime office space reached a post-Covid-19-pandemic low of 5.3 per cent. The boom contrasts with Hong Kong, where vacancy rates are at a record high.

Still, some sectors such as technology and banking may see office consolidation in Singapore amid layoffs, according to a report by ...

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