Office Occupancies Across Australia

Office Occupancies Across Australia’s CBDs Remain Low

AUSTRALIA – Workers in the Land Down Under appear hesitant of returning to their office, as indicated by the lacklustre office occupancies across different state capitals, reported Macro Business Australia on Thursday morning (26 May, SGT).

According to statistics from the Property Council of Australia, the office occupancy rate in Melbourne remains unchanged at around 36 percent. While it peaks at 42 percent on Wednesdays, it falls to merely 19 percent on Mondays and occupanciesoffice occupancies

Similarly, the office occupancy levels in other Aussie CBDs are not much higher. For instance, that in Brisbane and Perth averages at 51 percent and 50 percent respectively. That in Sydney is flat at 42 percent, likewise in Canberra at 39 percent.

The dismal office occupancies come amid rising COVID-19 cases, warnings about a bad flu season, and urgings from some groups to institutionalise working from home (WFH).

Aside from that, the physical occupancy at the offices of financial firms are also down. For example, the Chief Executive of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) Shane Elliott disclosed that 20 percent of their employees have not returned to the office at all since March 2022. He shared about 33 percent of their staff reported to their workplace each weekday, but he thinks this is too low.

Likewise, the daily office occupancies of National Australia Bank’s (NAB) outlets in Sydney and Melbourne is around 30 percent. On the other hand, that for Commonwealth Bank is currently about half of pre-COVID-19 levels and is steadily rising.

However, the majority of full-time office employees are most likely reluctantly to return to their workplace, with over 50 percent saying that they want to work remotely at least during some work days, based on a recent study by Future Forum, a consortium that includes management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group and Slack, a maker of messaging software intended for the workplace.

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