Sydney CBD Offices See Little Activity Compared To Malls
AUSTRALIA – Even though Australia’s most populous city, Sydney, has emerged from a 107-day lockdown, less people have returned to their offices in the central business district (CBD). In comparison, more people have patronised shopping centres, reported Bloomberg on Monday (18 October, SGT).
According to Google mobility statistics, workplace activity in the City of Sydney was down 62 percent compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic struck a day after the lockdown was lifted last week. Although the latest workplace activity is better compared to previous week, the activity for retail and recreation across the state of New South Wales (NSW) was down by only 23 percent.
Nonetheless, there were some factors that have impacted the dismal return to the office. For instance, schools won’t reopen fully until 25 October, so parents are still helping their kids with home schooling.
Come Monday (18 October), office employees won’t be required anymore to wear masks at their desks. And this is something business executives hope would help encourage workers to return to the office.
However, the poor workplace attendance indicates that there are still many things to be done before the CBD is vibrant again. Based on data from the Property Council of Australia (PCA), occupancy rate of office space in Sydney’s central business were merely 4 percent of pre-Covid levels in September 2021.
“We need a concerted effort from business, people and government to come together to ensure our public spaces and central districts can bounce back,” urged PCA Executive Director for NSW Luke Achterstraat.