Those rental meeting rooms that you see dotted around central Tokyo are starting to increase their fees as workers return to the office. Prices have increased by as much as 10 ~ 15% over the past two years.

Companies that shrank their office footprint during the pandemic are now struggling with a lack of space for the growing in-office meetings now that the pandemic has subsided. It is those companies that are seeking out rental meeting rooms as a stop-gap solution. Even with higher charges, users often have few other options. 

Employees are returning to the office. Mori Building’s survey of tenant needs carried out in September and October of 2023 reported a 76% office attendance rate, up 7 points from 2022. 59% of respondents reported an attendance rate of over 80%, up 10 points from 2022. 

According to Kaigishitsu Select, a portal site for rental meeting rooms, the average fee for a 1 ~ 10-person meeting room in the Marunouchi district in September 2023 was 6,771 Yen per hour, and 15,421 Yen per hour for a 51 ~ 100-person space. While there is some variation depending on location and meeting room operator, fees have increased by around 10 ~ 15% over the past to years. 

Some of the price increases may be due to higher overheads, such as electricity, but customer demand may be a stronger driving force. The operator of the Kaigishitsu Select website said page visits as of November 2023 reached 121,813, a five-fold increase from April 2020 when the first pandemic-related State of Emergency was declared. 

Source: The Nikkei Shimbun, January 11, 2023.

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