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Bay of Plenty Region
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
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Embracing new ways to work – Suburban desk talk

The way we access and use workplaces was already undergoing change prior to the pandemic outbreak, but the global health crisis has accelerated some of those trends in the office sector.

Advances in technology, a more diverse workforce, a flight to quality, the importance of global marketplaces and changing expectations around property requirements, were all having an impact on the space that companies and office-based operators were committing to.

There was never a “one size fits all” template in the office market. However, what is becoming clear is that businesses that embrace new ways of working, are flexible, and leverage technology, will thrive in the post-Covid-19 economy.

Those businesses with a core + flex model in place, will be able to have different teams working safely from different premises for a far more efficient use of time and resources should other disrupting events occur in the future.” – Lloyd Budd

The work-from-home mandate saw office workers plugging in from widespread locations, and since then, there has been serious reconsideration about where employees could be based going forward, with CBD premises not necessarily being the sole answer.

Opting to positively fragment footprint

This emphasis on having a more distributed workforce is a trend being seen globally and in New Zealand, as corporates and larger businesses opt to positively fragment their physical space footprint beyond the usual centralised head office model.

Lloyd Budd, Bayleys’ director Auckland Commercial & Industrial, believes that the way offices are designed, how occupancy costs are approached, and this evolving distributed workforce model will structurally change office space dynamics and the suburbs will take on new meaning.

“Larger companies and businesses with scale are proactively looking to the core + flex model of office space with a consolidated central location supported by smaller satellite flexible spaces in the suburbs that can expand and contract to cater for varying staffing and work flows,” he said.

“Those businesses with a core + flex model in place, will be able to have different teams working safely from different premises for a far more efficient use of time and resources should other disrupting events occur in the future.

“Many office-based businesses operate on a project basis rather than an office hours basis, and so can accommodate flexible ways of working in the suburbs – with one upside being fewer cars making the commute in and out of CBDs.”

Courtesy of Bayleys Workplace Insights https://www.bayleys.co.nz

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