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Response to Productivity Commission ‘Working from home’ research paper

 

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the release of the Productivity Commission’s ‘Working from home’ research paper saying it is important to understand the impact of the pandemic on the future of Australia’s work patterns.
Property Council Chief Executive, Ken Morrison, said that the report correctly notes that CBDs will remain Australia’s hubs of economic activity.

“Greater flexibility is here stay, but many Australian workers can’t wait to get back to the office to unlock the benefits of face-to-face collaboration,” Mr Morrison said.

“The Productivity Commission report notes that CBDs will continue to be the natural home of the knowledge worker due the dividends of in-office working for both employees and their companies.”

“Building culture, finding those serendipitous business opportunities, and achieving high level collaboration and problem solving are all much more effective in person.”

“Most firms will want to offer greater flexibility, but their commercial success will still depend on face-to-face interactions to drive tangible commercial outcomes as we move into the new normal.”

The Property Council has commended the report on canvassing the issue from the perspectives of employers, employees, government and the broader economy.

“CBDs are their own economic ecosystem, supporting thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of output,” Mr Morrison said.

“The health of our CBDs is critical to Australia’s broader economic recovery.”

Property Council data indicates that CBD workers were slow to return to offices once restrictions were lifted in 2020.

“As the current restrictions are progressively lifted, the challenge for policymakers will be to ensure the right settings are in place to encourage workers back to their offices to reignite those productivity benefits.