According to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, “it’s time to get back to the office”.
He’s called on both government and corporate employers to standardise working arrangements in order to ensure the recovery of jobs and the economy as a whole.
“The challenge is that we have got many corporates, particularly corporate headquarters of companies that are headquartered globally overseas, who are using US or European or UK rules regarding people’s presence in the office. They are not appropriate to Australia,” the Prime Minister has commented.
“They should be indigenised to Australia, so we have been encouraging them to standardise the working arrangements to be consistent to what is happening here and not overseas.
“That will be good for jobs, good for the beating heart of our cities.”
The Property Council of Australia has applauded the Prime Minister’s message, highlighting the significance of “bustling CBDs” to both small businesses and the broader Australian economy.
According to Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison, corporate and government leadership needs to continue encouraging the revival of office work.
“Melbourne and Sydney have been the cities hardest hit by the COVID disruption and further corporate and government leadership is needed to encourage workers back to the office to bolster this recovery,” he opined.
Across some capital cities, building owners and managers have started proactive campaigns to get workers to return to their offices and re-engage with the benefits of working face to face.
Brisbane has recently launched “Fridays in the City” in a bid to spur on CBD reactivation, wherein building owners, managers and retailers will be providing unique offerings, deals and activities throughout the campaign, including free coffee, food and beverages deals, live music, arts and cultural activities, prizes and raffles.
In Melbourne, “Fab Fridays” aims to encourage residents to “play, stay and spend time” in the city, with early finishes on Fridays and a series of free events and incentives as part of the initiative.
The Property Council’s latest office occupancy survey found that most capital cities took a significant jump forward in April, with Canberra and Hobart achieving the highest occupancy at 84 per cent and 82 per cent, respectively.
Meanwhile, Sydney and Melbourne rose by 9 per cent and 6 per cent over the month to 59 per cent and 41 per cent occupancy, respectively.
“Melbourne and Sydney have been the cities hardest hit by the COVID disruption and it is encouraging to see the big number of workers returning to these CBD in recent months,” the Property Council’s chief executive concluded.