Optimism abounds, as new research reveals the state of Sydney’s CBD

The number of Sydneysiders working in the office tripled last month, according to the latest Office Occupancy survey by The Property Council of Australia.

Property Council NSW Executive Director Luke Achterstraat said the survey revealed positive signs for Sydney’s CBD, with the office occupancy levels increasing from eight per cent to 23 per cent in November.

“With lockdown restrictions lifting, and a festive summer season ahead, there is optimism that these numbers will continue to rise, and our economic recovery will remain strong,” Mr Achterstraat said.

“The CBDs have shown their resilience and this bump up in activity comes at the perfect time,” he said.

The survey of Sydney’s office owners also found two-thirds of respondents are confident the return of workers would further materially strengthen in the next 90 days.

“Restrictions are easing, business events are resuming and our public servants are returning to offices, so we can expect further increases in office occupancy into the new year,” Mr Achterstraat said.

The latest survey results also provided insight into the role of the office into 2022 and beyond.

Mr Achterstraat said COVID-19 had accelerated the discussion about the future of work.

“Our survey shows employees are seeking flexibility, including working from home,” he said. 

“This means we need to adapt and entice people into our CBDs through the immersive experience that only a city can offer – with employers and office owners already leading the charge.

“Commercial office owners remain strongly committed to our CBDs.

“Huge levels of investment have been made to provide COVD-safe workplaces.

“Further swathes of investment are underway to create work environments that are hubs for collaboration, problem solving and human interaction.”

Mr Achterstraat also welcomed government investment into revitalising the CBDs.

“The government’s recently announced $50m CBD reactivation package – across Sydney, Western Sydney, Parramatta, Illawarra, the Hunter and more – is a strong endorsement that CBDs all across New South Wales generate the jobs, experiences and investment we all desire.”

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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a freelance journalist for Elite Agent.