2020 has seen significant societal sacrifices in an attempt to mitigate the risks posed by SARS-Cov-2. This debate will explore whether the workforce can return to normal or if there should be permanent intrusions into the social contract such as constrained movement and perpetual social distancing.

Andrea Roberts, national head of leasing, Knight Frank
Lance Schembri, state manager employer engagement VIC/WA, Aware Super
Moderator: Laurence Parker-Brown, content producer, Conexus Financial

Key takeaways

  • Society can expect decentralised government offices and landlords to “up the ante” on amenities equal to those of luxury hotels in a post pandemic working world.
  • Premium and prime landlords are already offering and would need to “up the ante” on luxury-style amenities to lure tenants and their employees back to the CBD from their remote, working-from-home environment, according to Knight Frank National Head of Leasing Andrea Roberts.
  • The competitive premium and prime office markets had begun offering tenants and their employees an amenity checklist equal to luxury hotel offerings such as bike parks, hair dryers and hair straighteners in change rooms, and multi-function spaces for prayer rooms, meditation, yoga and gym classes. The onus will be on landlords to provide an experience that encourages employees back to the city centre after they have enjoyed better work and life balance at home.
  • Many back-office government employees who have worked from home during the pandemic, will want a combination of office and home time in the future, according to Lance Schembri, Aware Super’s State Manager Employer Engagement in Victoria and Western Australia.
  • Meanwhile current CBD building occupancy rates in Australia’s capital cities were strong in Perth (77 per cent),  Adelaide (73per cent),  Canberra (62per cent) and Brisbane (61per cent) with workers in Sydney (40per cent) and Melbourne (7per cent) not expected to return to the city for two to three months, Roberts says.

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