The Property Council of Australia released the results of their occupancy survey which highlighted the impact of extended lockdowns on Australia’s largest CBD’s. Sydney’s CBD occupancy was 4% of pre-covid levels, and Melbourne stood at 7%, an indication of the strict nature of the lockdown in these cities. Canberra recorded a decline from 73% to just 8% of pre-COVID levels.
For those cities that are not in lockdown, there is more information on the economic activity (sans lockdowns) that we might anticipate in Sydney/Melbourne once these CBD’s re-open.
Brisbane and Adelaide CBDs achieved 60% and 65% of pre-COVID occupancy respectively, while Hobart and Darwin are 94% and 82% respectively.
It’s concluded that once lockdowns are lifted workers will be returning to the offices at faster rates than occurred in 2020 after lockdowns concluded.
Once immediate threats to public health are reduced to acceptable levels, it’s anticipated the benefits of office work will again be revisited, and the question of working from home / office work (or a mix thereof) will again be discussed.
In a post covid office environment, there will be changes to the way work is undertaken, some major changes and some minor changes. Flexibility will underpin workplaces of the future, and many different size businesses will explore different models in determining what works best.
One model under serious consideration consists of a hub and spoke model, where for instance, there is a main office in Sydney CBD, but work is also done in regional hubs, which may be anywhere in Australia, but likely to be in 3-4 hours driving/travel from the Sydney CBD. With the WFH and digital nature of most businesses, it’s expected suburban/regional offices will increase in size, which will continue to create strong demand for suburban office spaces. Given many large CBD building projects have been on hold the past 12-24 months, there will be pent up demand for office space once the economy restarts, especially if initially there are coronavirus spacing limitations on office usage.
For Australian accounting companies who have moved fully digital, and who are looking at regional/suburban offices, then in place of massive capital expenditure on new office expansions, there’s a strong argument for offshore outsourcing, especially with ad-hoc seasonal work.
And if you’d like to talk to Odyssey can help with your ad hoc outsourcing then drop us a line.