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Member News provides news about AustCham member achievements and announcements
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  • Monday, June 17, 2019 11:20 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New General Manager takes the reins at Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok and DoubleTree by Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok

    Rachel Davidson has been appointed Cluster General Manager of Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok and DoubleTree by Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok with effect from 1 June 2019.

    One of her first tasks was to lead a community activity to celebrate the Hilton's global centenary. Accompanied by team members from the two hotels, Rachel helped to plant 100 trees at Khung Bang Kachao under support from Chaipattana Foundation (Oasis Urbanization Regeneration). This important project is designed to protect and preserve the few precious green areas that remain in Bangkok, producing fresher air for the local residents to breathe.

    Rachel Davidson has been working most recently with Hilton in Japan as the Cluster General Manager of Hilton Okinawa Chatan Resort & DoubleTree by Hilton Okinawa Chatan Resort.

    With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry Rachel has held General Manager roles at a number of hotels in Greater China, Australasia and Japan, Korea and Micronesia.

  • Friday, June 14, 2019 11:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Best Western® Hotels & Resorts Signs Professional Services Agreement for Best Western Plus Carapace Hotel Khao Tao, Hua Hin

    (Bangkok – June 13, 2019) Best Western Hotels & Resorts has celebrated the signing of a Professional Service Agreement (PSA) with One Place Estate Co., Ltd. for Best Western Plus Carapace Hotel Khao Tao, its new resort in Hua Hin.

    The agreement was signed on June 4th, 2019, in a ceremony attended by senior executives including Mr. Pongpipat Kanjanasupat, CEO of One Place Estate (pictured center), and Olivier Berrivin, Best Western’s Managing Director of International Operations – Asia (second from the right).

    The signing of the PSA means that Best Western Plus Carapace Hotel Khao Tao will benefit from full management support, including day-to-day operations, global sales, marketing and distribution, revenue management, state-of-the-art technology, human resources, training and much more. The hotel will also join the network of Best Western Rewards®, the industry-leading loyalty program.

    Nestled close to the beach, just south of Hua Hin town center and 2.5 hours’ drive from Bangkok, Best Western Plus Carapace Hotel Khao Tao will feature 410 rooms set around a series of freeform lagoon pools. Some of the ground floor rooms will have direct pool access. Other facilities include a restaurant, pool bar, beach bar, coffee shop and fitness center.

    Best Western Plus Carapace Hotel Khao Tao will become Best Western’s first property in Hua Hin.

  • Monday, June 10, 2019 16:19 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Best Western® Hotels & Resorts Launches Inaugural Hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s Cultural Heart

    Best Western®Hotels & Resorts’ Asian expansion strategy has reached a new milestone as the group launches its first ever hotel in Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand and a popular global tourist destination.

    Scheduled to open its doors on Monday, June 10, 2019, Best Western Prime Square Hotel, Chiang Mai is a brand new hotel that brings modern midscale comfort to the capital of Thailand’s ancient Lanna Kingdom. Perfectly positioned in the center of Chiang Mai, the hotel is a five minutes drive from trendy Nimmanhaemin Road, and just a short drive from Chiang Mai International Airport and the cultural attractions of the old walled city.

    A boutique-style hotel, Best Western Prime Square Hotel features just 48 keys, with a choice of Superior Rooms (24 square meters) and Deluxe Rooms (36 square meters). Whichever option guests choose, they will enjoy comfortable bedding, contemporary décor, working desks, flat-screen TVs, mini-bars, tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi in all areas. The larger Deluxe Rooms also feature separate bathtubs.

    When guests are not exploring Chiang Mai’s many attractions, they can cool off in the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool or work out in the fitness center. Appetizing Thai, pan-Asian and international cuisine can be enjoyed throughout the day at the Prime restaurant, and the hotel’s intimate meeting room can host up to eight guests.

    Best Western Prime Square Hotel has been developed by Prime Square Co., Ltd, a leading Chiang Mai-based real estate company.

     “Chiang Mai is a captivating destination that attracts millions of visitors every year,” said Olivier Berrivin, Best Western’s Managing Director of International Operations - Asia. “Nestled in the jungle-clad hills of northern Thailand, this enchanting city is steeped in history, with ancient walled city, moats and hundreds of historic temples offering endless opportunities for cultural discovery. And yet, Chiang Mai also has a dynamic and youthful vibe that reflects the spirit of 21st Century Thailand. The city is now hugely popular among international travelers, with extensive air links across Asia, and the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre has become a major hub for the MICE sector.”

    “Best Western has been actively seeking an opportunity to enter this important market, and we are delighted to make our debut in Chiang Mai with Best Western Prime Square Hotel, an outstanding new hotel that will elevate the quality of midscale accommodation in the city to new heights. We look forward to working with Prime Square to create outstanding experiences for all our guests,” Olivier added.

    Travelers who stay at Best Western Prime Square Hotel will be able to visit many popular local landmarks, including the old city walls, Wat Chedi Luang temple, Chiang Mai Night Safari, Sunday Walking Street, Kad Suan Kaew night market, Doi Suthep and more, while the MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Center is right on the hotel’s doorstep. Just outside the city, the lush forests and mountains of Chiang Mai province present boundless opportunities for soft adventure, including authentic hill-tribes, fast-flowing rivers and breath-taking caves.

    Chiang Mai International Airport is now connected by more than 30 airlines, with direct flights to and from many major Asian cities, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei.

    Best Western is one of the leading international hotel groups in Thailand, with a collection of hotels and resorts either operating or under development in a series of attractive destinations, including Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Buriram, Prachinburi and now, Chiang Mai.

    For more information and reservations, please visit or call +66 (0) 53 215 600.

  • Monday, June 10, 2019 14:28 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “Lancaster Bangkok Big cleaning day 2019”

    World Environment Day is celebrated in over 100 countries every year on the 5th of June to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action.

    It’s the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the Earth or be an agent of change. That “something” can be focused locally, nationally or globally; it can be an individual or group action involving a team.

    We are a small part of this big world. Lancaster Bangkok is inviting staff, guests and people around to join its efforts in “Big Cleaning Day” event to make the world better starting from our property in occasion of World environment day led by management team.

    We always believed that sustainability should be at the heart of a responsible business; ‘do the best and get better world’ is one of the key objectives

    For reservations and more information, please call Tel. +66 (0) 262 8000,, or become a fan at

  • Monday, June 10, 2019 14:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Demystifying the ‘new’ TM.30 expat reporting law

    What is TM.30?

    TM.30 is a form for reporting the accommodation of a foreigner according to section 38 of the 1979 immigration act. Under the law, house owners, heads of households, landlords or hotel managers who temporarily accommodate foreign nationals must notify the local immigration authorities within 24 hours. This includes landlords who lease their properties to expat tenants.

    This law has existed for many years but was mostly applied to hotels, which automatically report guests at check-in. However, since 28 March 2019 the government is now enforcing this law more strictly to include landlords and tenants as well.

    Who is affected by this?

    There is a misperception that TM.30 is for landlords only, who face fines for not reporting their tenants to the immigration office within 24 hours of their tenants’ return from a trip. This applies to every trip, whether in Thailand or abroad, even if only for a single night.

    However, tenants must supply their landlord with the necessary documents for reporting purposes, and they may face difficulties having their visas renewed if these reports are not done properly. For example, immigration officers at Chaeng Wattana claim they will not provide services for visa extension applications, 90-days reporting, and multiple re-entry permits. We know of cases where this is being applied.

    Therefore, both landlords and tenants need to take this seriously, and understand their respective roles.

    Is this happening everywhere in Thailand?

    Most of my business is in Bangkok, but some organisations, including the Danish-Thai chamber of commerce, are reporting that the new requirements are currently being enforced in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi and Chonburi, with plans to extend it to other provinces in future.

    How does the law apply to me?

    The law is unclear about specific circumstances, such as when a tenant stays overnight with a friend, for example. However, to understand the risks, it is important to understand the way immigration officers work. In our experience, they look for matching records of a tenant’s departure and return, e.g. a hotel report when a tenant arrives at their destination plus the landlord’s report when they get back. It may seem self-evident that the risk of detection is low if there are no records at all, however the examples below illustrate why this is important:

    Example 1: A tenant lives in a rented property in Bangkok and travels to Pattaya for 2 nights, staying at a hotel. Immigration officers will check the hotel’s report of the tenant’s arrival against the landlord’s report when they return home. If they match then there shouldn’t be a problem. However, if one report is missing then they might investigate further.

    Example 2: A tenant lives in a rented property in Bangkok and travels abroad for 1 week. Immigration officers will check the record of departure (e.g. your TM.6 departure form at the airport) against the landlord’s report when they return home. Again, there’s no problem if they match.

    Example 3: A tenant lives in a rented property in Bangkok and attends a nearby dinner party at a friend’s condo. At 2am the tenant decides it’s too late to go home and stays overnight. Strictly, the law says the owner of the friend’s condo must report the visitor’s stay, as must the tenant’s landlord when they return home. If only 1 landlord reports then this could raise a red flag with immigration officers. However, if both landlords fail to report then this might escape their attention, but it’s still an offence.

    Clearly, examples 1 and 2 are higher risk because there are mandatory records of the trip that you can’t avoid, such as the hotel’s report or the TM. 6 departure form. Therefore, it’s important that the landlord reports as well so there’s a matching record. But in the third example it appears you are still technically breaking the law, but the risk of detection is low if neither landlord reports the overnight stay.

    As is often the case with a new legal development in Thailand, authorities aren’t doing much to clarify confusion. In our experience, answers depend on which immigration officer we speak to! We will likely have to wait and see how very specific circumstances are treated. Please note that what I’m saying in this article is based only on our own experience and might not conform to what others are saying. Anybody who lives in this town for long will soon learn how quickly misinformation and rumours spread!

    Why is this law necessary?

    This is unclear, as for many years the law was mostly ignored. The recent clampdown is hugely unpopular as it’s a lot of work for landlords and tenants alike, and ultimately will make Thailand less attractive to foreign investment. There is also legitimate concern that immigration officers can’t cope with the enormous mass of paper shuffling, which will slow processing times and frustrate the process further.

    There are several suggestions as to why this law is now being enforced, including to stem the rash of condo purchases by foreign investors for the purposes of running an Airbnb business, which has been generating a lot of negative news lately. Another alleged reason is to clamp down on long-stay foreigners who don’t have visas/work permits, but that’s nothing new. Tax evasion is another.

    Do you think the law will change?

    Something must surely give as landlords face more fines, more expats face visa refusals, and immigration officers drown under the growing backlog of paperwork. It’s hard to see how this won’t impact the property market and eventually the economy more widely.

    The difference this time is that it’s not just foreigners who are affected. It’s directly impacting Thai landlords – many of them influential – who rely on the expat market to lease their investment properties. It’s also driving concern among influential business organisations. For example, 1D Property is a member of Austcham (Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce) which is watching this matter closely and may join other chambers to express concerns through appropriate channels.

    For good or ill, it’s not uncommon in Thailand for existing laws to be ignored by authorities, as was TM.30 for many years. This is a likely scenario but hard to say when this could happen.

    Another possibility is that the law is changed or dropped entirely as influential landlords apply pressure on the government, supported by business organisations. In my view, this is more likely now that elections are past and the new government looks for ‘wins’ to justify its appointment. I’ve heard rumours that TM.30 is up for the chop, but rumours are dime a dozen in this town!

    Who is responsible for reporting?

    Reporting is the landlord’s responsibility, and face fines for not doing so. Tenants must provide landlords with the necessary documentation for reporting, such as a TM.6 departure form.

    The reporting responsibility doesn’t absolve tenants entirely, who risk problems renewing their visa. We know of actual cases where visa renewal applications are currently not being processed until landlords have cleared the TM.30 reporting backlog. It remains to be seen what happens when their current visas expire and they haven’t managed to clear the infractions.

    Bottom line: It’s critical that landlords, tenants and agents work together. This is where a good agent can help, as maintaining the important tenant-landlord relationship should be at the heart of their ongoing service.

    How do you report?

    The landlord can submit a TM.30 form several ways:

    • In person at the immigration office, or through an authorised person (Chaeng Wattana office for Bangkok and Paknam office for Samut Prakan)
    • By registered mail
    • Internet (website and app)

    Is the reporting process easy?

    Sadly, no. The queues at Chaeng Wattana are hideous. 1D Property has employed a full-time person just to wait in them on behalf of our clients. It’s clear the immigration officers can’t cope with the workload, and there are literally dozens of desks piled high with mountains of paper, with few computers to be seen.

    Several of our landlords are experiencing problems with the online option, including very long waiting times for their registration to be approved and issued with a password. Some have been waiting 3 weeks while calls to the immigration office go unanswered. If a landlord can’t report in person or through a proxy then we recommend the registered mail option as they will be issued with a receipt. Hopefully this will count as proof!

    At Chaeng Wattana, there appears to be some leeway to the 24-hour notice period. In our experience they are currently allowing 5 days before fines are applied, but we don’t know if this is official policy or for how long it will last. My guess is they are overloaded and can’t cope.

    What if a landlord refuses to report their tenant’s movements?

    Tenants can’t report themselves, so it’s critical there is a good working relationship with the landlord. We already know landlords who plan to sell properties or avoid expat renters. I doubt this is sustainable as there are too many investment properties in Bangkok that depend on the expat rental market.

    I understand the frustration on both sides but this situation impacts both parties and they need to work together. I hope we can avoid friction because neither party is at fault, and they both share an interest in getting this law changed. I am always here to help in any way I can.

    My advice is to maintain a productive working relationship with your landlord or use a good agent who can do that for you. At 1D Property the tenant-landlord relationship is central to our ongoing service, and we will ensure that landlords are aware of their reporting responsibility before the tenant signs a lease. If necessary, we will continually remind both parties of their responsibilities throughout the lease period.

    What documents does a tenant need to provide to their landlord?

    1. Copy of current passport, including the visa stamp page
    2. Copy of TM.6 departure card (often attached inside passport)
    3. “Name of Aliens in Residence” form

    You can contact 1D Property for samples of any of the above.

    What documents does a landlord need to report?

    1. 30 notification form
    2. Copy of blue book (ทะเบียนบ้าน)
    3. Copy of ID card or passport
    4. Lease agreement
    5. Power of Attorney (if using a proxy)

    How can 1D Property help with the TM.30 reporting requirements?

    1D Property is reporting on behalf of a number of landlords as their proxy. The important tenant-landlord relationship is central to our ongoing service, and this is proving to be the critical factor. Our services include:

    • We can report on behalf of Bangkok-based landlords at the Chaeng Wattana and Paknam immigration offices (fee 1,000 Baht).
    • We can provide detailed samples of documents that tenants and landlords need.
    • We can answer questions to the extent of our experience as an agency (but we cannot provide a qualified legal opinion).

  • Thursday, May 30, 2019 14:01 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Asia’s Best Talent on the Big Stage

    The best 50 Asian-born footballers will relish the opportunity to play on the big stage during this weekend’s curtain closer clash following the Port Adelaide and St. Kilda game. The Team AFL China Dragons will be looking to build on their previous successes in the annual clash, having beaten the AFL Asia Lions during their previous two encounters.

    AFL China Dragons

    The local China Dragons will have Darren Stuart at the helm as coach and will be well led by newly appointed captain Lin Dian Yu (Guangzhou Scorpions), who has taken over the reins from long-standing leader and defensive stalwart Zhanghao. The well oiled Team AFL China Dragons have played together for a substantial period of time, have match winners all over the field and play with an enormous amount of team spirit and self-belief.

    The match will, as always be a hotly contested affair. Can the Asian Lions team come together to win their first ever encounter or will the AFL China Dragons hold them off again?

    AFL Asia Lions

    1993 Essendon premiership player and former Collingwood and North Melbourne star Rick Olarenshaw will coach the AFL Asia Lions after leading the Indonesian Volcanoes to the ultimate glory of Asian footy by winning the AFL Asia 2018 Asian Championships. The AFL Asia Lions are a well balanced side littered with talent and will be led by exciting Philippine Eagles utility Evan Spargo and Japanese veteran Michito Sakaki, who was awarded the AFL IC17 Division 2 MVP.

    Emerging AFL Asia Talent on Show

    The game will also feature two of AFL Asia’s Rising Star Award recipients in Liu Rong (Team AFL China Dragons & 2018 Guangzhou Scorpions Best & Fairest) and 17 year old sensation Tyler York (Thailand Tigers).

    The curtain closer promises to be an entertaining affair and will be an absolute arm-wrestle right until the final siren!

  • Thursday, May 30, 2019 09:15 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thailand Increases Protection of Domestic Industries

    On 22 May 2019, the amendment to the Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Act, B.E. 2542 (1999) ("AD Act") was published in the Royal Gazette. It will become effective after 180 days from the date of publication and will start to apply on 18 November 2019.

    The amendment introduces "anti-circumvention" measures which is a completely new concept in Thai law. The main purpose of the anti-circumvention provisions is to enhance the efficiency of anti-dumping and countervailing measures under the AD Act to ensure that domestic industries are protected against imports that are found to circumvent existing anti-dumping or countervailing measures. 

    The amendment was driven by numerous complaints received by the Ministry of Commerce from domestic industries, mostly in the steel industry, that foreign manufacturers and exporters have found various ways to export their goods to Thailand by circumventing the duties imposed under the AD Act, ultimately causing injury to their operations.

    Anti-circumvention measures

    The amendment provides that if the Anti-dumping and Subsidy Committee has determined that there is circumvention of an existing anti-dumping or countervailing measure, the duties under those measures will be extended to the imports of the circumvented goods. The rate will not exceed the highest anti-dumping or countervailing duty rate imposed on the goods from the exporter's country. 


    Anti-circumvention investigations can be initiated upon the request of (i) the Department of Foreign Trade or (ii) a party or a group of parties acting on behalf of domestic manufacturers of subject goods which is supported by manufacturers producing not less than one-quarter of total domestic production quantity.

    The overall investigation process must be completed within nine months; however, it can be extended up to three months where necessary. 

    Definition of circumvention

    The three elements of "circumvention" are provided as follows:



    There is a change of pattern of trade which stems from an operation relating to manufacturing or business for which there is insufficient due cause or economic justification other than to avoid the imposition of the anti-dumping or countervailing duties; 


    As a result of such change of pattern of trade, the remedial effects of the anti-dumping or countervailing measures are being undermined in terms of the prices or quantity; and 


    There is evidence of dumping when comparing the normal values previously established for the like product and the export price of the goods under consideration or the price of the like product of the party alleged for circumvention.

    To elaborate, slight modification of the goods, exports of goods to Thailand through one or more third countries, and imports of semi-finished or parts for assembly in Thailand or third countries, could be considered as operations relating to manufacturing or business that may be deemed as a change of pattern of trade.

    It is important that interested parties including exporters, importers, manufacturers, and assemblers are aware of such restrictions and understand its impact on their business operations. 

  • Thursday, May 30, 2019 08:59 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Summer travel planning is in full swing and as travelers gear up for their perfect escape, Best Western Hotels & Resorts has introduced its seasonal BW Rewards Rush® Promotion. Best Western Hotels & Resorts is making global travel even faster and easier with an enticing new promotion: Best Western Rewards Rush 2!

    This new BWR Rush Promotion is the latest example of Best Western’s award-winning BWR program, which has earned its position as a leading innovator in the industry. Members of Best Western Rewards who register for the promotion will receive a FREE Best Western Travel Card worth US$20 after their first qualified stay!

    Best Western Travel Cards can be redeemed at any of Best Western’s hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and territories worldwide, covering 13 distinct brands.

    Best Western Rewards Rush 2 is available to all new and existing Best Western Rewards members who register for the promotion and stay at any Best Western-branded hotel between May 20, 2019 and September 2, 2019.

    BWR’s tagline – Go.Get.Rewarded.® – demonstrates Best Western’s commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience through a simplified, meaningful and rapid rewards program. As part of the program’s ongoing refresh, BWR members can enjoy more benefits than ever, including:

    Top-Ranked, Rich Rewards

    Best Western is committed to providing travelers with one of the richest rewards programs in the industry, with enhanced point earning opportunities and perks. Best Western is the only major hotel chain to offer a loyalty program whose rewards points do not expire due to account inactivity, and members can now earn gift cards redeemable with popular shopping, entertainment, gas, and airline partners. BWR members earn points with each stay that can be redeemed for free nights at any Best Western-branded hotel worldwide, with no blackout dates. Members also have access to special rates of up to 10 percent off every night.

    Instant Enrollment, Instant Rewards

    As part of the BWR refresh, members are given instant rewards and gratification on every stay. Additionally, the Status Match…No Catch® program allows members to instantly have their status matched with other hotel loyalty programs upon enrollment.

    Elite Members, Elite Rewards

    In addition to enjoying the perks and benefits of BWR, elite members also receive elite rewards. Upon arrival elite members are given a choice of a “Thank You” gift or bonus points. A digital membership card enables BWR members to easily access their membership number, point balance, current tier level and exclusive deals and offers. These new benefits let travelers maximize their stays across all Best Western brands. 

    For more information on BWR and to sign up for rewards, please visit Best Western Rewards.

    *Terms & conditions applied.

  • Wednesday, May 29, 2019 15:52 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BHMA Hotels & Resorts Partners with Travel Prologue to Launch Dynamic Rates for Wholesale Distribution

    BHMA Hotels and Resorts has signed an agreement with Travel Prologue, a B2B white label travel portal solution provider, to deliver live room rates and inventory to traditionally offline travel agencies, wholesalers and corporate travel intermediaries.

    Always looking to further advance its global customer base, BHMA is constantly seeking out new drivers in an effort to scale operations to a worldwide level. With old-fashioned ‘bricks and mortar’ booking services falling into decline, the sharp rise in online booking services has created a motivating focus towards millennia-style online services.

    “As an innovative partner in the hotel management space, this hi-tech solution from Travel Prologue will provide us with the ideal platform to continue driving our revenues through existing and new distribution channels. This collaboration with Travel Prologue will improve our partnership with our traditionally offline contractors by allowing them to book directly with real-time room availability of our hotels’ dynamic and static rates,” said Paul Wilson, BHMA’s EVP Commercial.

    BHMA continues to build strong partnerships and the deal with Travel Prologue’s Trip Affiliates Network (“TA Network”) hotel platform solutions, achieves a key objective: increasing direct bookings from agents, wholesalers and corporates. The partnership also increases efficiency and productivity through real-time connectivity and automation of inventory management processes.

    BHMA is a rapidly growing company and I am sure the TA Network will bring multiple advantages. These include reductions in distribution costs, increased direct bookings and superior inventory management. Our tailored solution is perfect for firms like BHMA who can quickly benefit from increased productivity, greater efficiency and higher yields throughout the year,” added Ho Siang Twang, Executive Director of Travel Prologue.

  • Friday, May 24, 2019 10:04 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    How change in the Workplace is changing the Bagkok office market

    A lot has changed since fax machines, and boxy cubicles were mainstays in offices around the world. Thanks to changes in work styles, technological advancements and space allocation as well as cultural shifts, the workplace has drastically transformed over the past decade. Increasingly, more Thai and Multinational companies in Bangkok are recognizing these changes when it comes to both the selection of office buildings and design of their workspace.

    “Based on CBRE’s research, the primary goals for organizations remain the same: attracting and retaining top talent, enabling this talent to successfully achieve organizational goals, and doing all of this in a fiscally responsible manner,” says Ms. Roongrat Veeraparkkaroon, Head of Advisory & Transaction Services - Office at CBRE Thailand.

    “What is changing is the role the workplace plays in enabling these goals. Top performing organizations recognize the important value of their workplace as a destination for their people – a place that brings them together as a community, fosters culture and connection to purpose, and gives them the resources to be their most effective,” Ms. Roongrat added.

    Today, there is a new consumer mindset at play when it comes to employee perceptions. More and more companies view their employees as consumers, which trickles down into how they design workspaces to support that ideology.

    Organizations are providing environments that are conducive to keeping employees happy, healthy and, of course, productive and efficient. For example, employees have grown accustomed to amenities they could only dream of in previous decades. Previously, only a canteen serving economical food, a convenience store, coffee shop and bank branches or ATM’s were seen as being essential amenities in an office building. Today, employees want a range of healthy eating options but at affordable prices, gyms and a range of other amenities.

    Lavish amenities aren’t the only way workspaces have changed over the years. Layouts and design have also undergone major overhauls. Private corner offices with heavy wooden doors and traditional square cubicles have long gone. Today’s modern offices tout transparency, community and collaboration, and prioritize equal support of tasks over hierarchy, which typically translates to environments that provide a wide variety of open and enclosed settings. While these updated designs are more commonplace, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re unanimously effective.

    According to CBRE Research, “Open communal tables where no one has privacy only work if employees can still get their work done. If you come to work and can’t be productive, it creates a huge amount of anxiety.”

    Ultimately, a company’s bottom line depends on the output of its employees. Successful layouts and designs are never a one size fits all for every type of occupier.

    When employees are in the space, technology has been a catalyst for improved communication and efficiency. Further, companies are now using smart building technologies to provide an added layer of creative environments that are more responsive to people’s needs, while also ensuring efficiency of space. For example, companies are using technologies that detect and respond to human movement. This includes everything from motion-activated room sensors to sonar that emits from light fixtures to hypersensitive air monitoring that can measure the occupancy of a conference room based on the amount of carbon dioxide production in the room.

    Thai developers are going to have to adapt the design of their buildings to account for these changes.  Floor plates will have to accommodate a range of different office layouts. Flexible workplace strategies where employees do not have a permanent, exclusive use desk mean that population densities are going to be higher, with more people in less space. Lifts, air conditioning and washrooms will need to be designed to deal with this increased density.

    Wellness is becoming a more important factor and tenants are going to look at natural light and ability to adjust lighting levels and, given the level of pollution in Bangkok, questions will be raised about measures in the building to ensure air quality.

    The additional common amenities need to be considered carefully. Tenants want them but the rents that these amenity tenants can pay are based on only being able to generate revenue during business hours, five days a week. In the best central business district (CBD) Grade A office buildings, rents paid by amenity tenants are lower than office rents. Operating costs are more expensive because of the need to air-condition and maintain large common areas and the provision of air conditioning to these tenants for long hours.

    Increasingly, tenants are having to adapt by designing workspace that is both efficient, encourages productivity and attracts top talent.

    The overall impact will be that the buildings that can best accommodate tenants’ needs will be able to achieve premium rents. Tenants may be able to pay more per square metre when they move if they fit more people into less space, but there is still going to be a ceiling on that premium because tenants are still going to be concerned with overall cost.

    Landlords of new buildings will have to think carefully about design, specification and amenities and look carefully at tenants’ requirements.

    Tenants are going to have to think far more about their workplace strategy and have that worked out before they start to look at where to rent space and how to design that space. This will result in a far longer decision-making process. For large companies, that will mean commencing the strategy and selection process at least 18 months before space is required.

    CBRE is responding to these changes by investing more in staff and resources to deliver advice on workspace strategy to both landlords and tenants.

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Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce

20 Floor, Unit 203, Thai CC Tower
43 South Sathorn Road   ·   Bangkok Thailand 10120

Tel: +66 2 210 0216   ·   Fax: +66 2 675 6696   ·

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