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Unmasked workers return but CBD still suffering from home work trends


The end of the mask mandate had meant Brisbane workers had started the migration back to the CBD office but a third of workers were still missing, according to the Property Council.

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The Property Council feared the work-from-home habits may have become entrenched in the past 18 months.

According to its survey office occupancy in November was 63 per cent of pre-Covid levels, up from 57 per cent in October, but still below the 70 per cent level that it had maintained until September.

In Sydney, occupancy is 23 per cent while Melbourne is at 12 per cent.

While the survey showed a recovery in Brisbane, the levels of occupancy were still at or near levels recorded at the start of the year. This time last year the occupancy was 61 per cent.

Before the pandemic, occupancy was 87 per cent.

The council said the improvement in Brisbane was a result of the end of mask mandates in offices, but more work was needed to bring workers back.

The council’s Queensland executive director Jen Williams said the pandemic had fast tracked trends in workplace flexibility and workers had more choice in where and how they worked.

“Flow-on impacts from the pandemic have seen less workers and visitors in the CBD, along with fewer people utilising public transport,” Williams said.

She said a collective effort was needed by government and the private sector to promote the importance of restoring connectivity and collaboration in the workplace.

“Brisbane can’t afford to lose the economic benefits that a vibrant city centre brings, especially as we embark on the 11-year runway to the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games,” she said.

The council said it and other stakeholders would run a Summer in the City promotion to bring people back.





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