Research Briefing | Sep 19, 2023

The Australian hybrid work model looks here to stay with lasting impacts on office space demand

The shift to flexible ways of working and using office space was already underway prior to the pandemic with the advent of open plan offices, activity-based working, hot desking and co-working space. The pandemic created opportunities for employees to embrace more flexible work arrangements and rapidly advanced the debate about how, where and when work can occur. The result is ongoing changes to office space demand and the way tenants use the space they occupy.

This research report expands on the following points:

  • The pandemic is having a significant impact on the demand for and utilisation of office space across Australia.
  • We believe the change in working patterns represents a structural shift however, there remains uncertainty around return-to-work arrangements.
  • A protracted return to the office and the impact of hybrid/remote working is delaying the recovery and could end up costing the Sydney and Melbourne CBD office markets hundreds of thousands of square metres in lost net absorption over the next 10 years.
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