Distributed Workplace Study

Findings Snapshot

This independent market review undertaken by AB Plus was commissioned by the Suburban Alliance and sponsored by Moreton Bay Regional Council, Logan City Council and Springfield City Group.

Through this study, the Suburban Alliance sought to understand to what extent major CBD corporate tenants are considering distributed workplaces, what models (including hub and spoke models) were they considering or planning, and to what extent Brisbane suburban and other South East Queensland commercial centres were likely to be impacted.

AB Plus undertook in-depth interviews and conversations with over 30 key organisations (representing a broad set of industries) and reviewed media as well as public and private reports. This research engaged a broad cross-section of corporate tenants of various industries and sizes, commercial agents/advisors and major building owners.

 

KEY FINDINGS

Intention to change existing workplace arrangements
▪ 88% of all participants reported that they are currently considering / their customers are considering changes to their workplace or have already begun making changes, including relocation, contraction / expansion of floor space and/or reconfiguration of existing spaces.
▪ 83% of all participants planning to make workplace relocate regard cost savings and increased flexibility for lease arrangements as the two most important change benefits tenants seek.

Distributed Workplace Intentions

▪ A number of workplace models are being considered by tenants, all with some element of a distributed workforce. The predominant model reported was a CBD-based office + working from home arrangement. The second most common model included a suburban office + working from home arrangement.
▪ 100% of all participants reported that tenants having a portion of their staff working part-time from home will be part of normal workplace arrangements moving forward, with employees on average spending 1-2 days per week working from home the most common response.

Suburban Locations – Opportunities and Challenges

▪ For some types of businesses and some business functions such as back of house and call centre-type functions, suburban locations clearly have potential appeal.
▪ 19% of tenants reported that they are either already adopting or are considering a suburban location as part of their future strategy.
Other Insights
▪ Participants expressed a strong focus on both talent and wellness moving forward, related to both retaining existing workers and attracting new workers.
▪ Where possible, tenants have either paused decision making, or deferred timing by extending leases for a short term. Building owners are now offering ‘Core + Flex’ spaces within a leasing package that provides for tenants’ changing needs.