law firms are rearranging offices, ditching the open plan for separate offices

Holding Redlich’s contemporary design approach has already been deployed in Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra. It is now the turn of Sydney and Melbourne.

“In short, at Holding Redlich, open spaces and shared offices are over, and offices are trendy,” he said.

“It is clear from the response from our employees that when you have your own office or a shared office, you are much more comfortable working in the office. »

Open-plan layouts and shared offices were enthusiastically adopted by large companies, not only because they saved space, but also because they were designed to foster team spirit and creativity. .

Other law firms have adopted a mixed office layout. Arnold Block Leibler has mostly closed offices at its national locations, including at 333 Collins Street in Melbourne, while Norton Rose Fulbright’s new office at 60 Martin Place, Sydney, has a hybrid layout.

Despite employers’ desire to reinstate staff in offices, occupancy rates across the country have stalled.

The Property Council’s June survey shows Sydney slipping to 53% and Melbourne climbing to 49%, down from May’s 60% and 48% respectively.

In Sydney, there has also been the impact of rail network disruptions, various strikes and bad weather, which has forced people to work from home.

Renderings of the $12 million reconstruction by law firm Holding Redlich of its offices at Levels 65-67, 25 Martin Place (formerly MLC Centre), Sydney

Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison said the impact of the spread of COVID-19 and flu was “clearly blocking a return to power”.

“While office occupancy rates have been steadily recovering since the start of the year, this month there was a distinct pause in the number of workers coming into the office,” Morrison said.

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“The continued spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses, extremely wet weather on the East Coast, combined with industrial action in New South Wales, have all clearly hampered the ability of workers to access their places. working CBD. »

The Property Council’s NSW executive director, Luke Achterstraat, said the survey was carried out by the PCA among its members between June 23 and 30, 2022, which coincided with an increase in the number of COVID cases. -19 and flu nationwide.

“A month of data does not equate to a trend, so now is the time for government and employers to double down and maintain momentum for a return to power,” Achterstraat said.

Flexible office owners are also confident that demand for the model remains strong, despite concerns over the third wave of the coronavirus which could see workers stay at home.

IWG, the world’s largest and fastest growing flexible office space provider, with brands including Spaces and Regus, has announced the addition of five new centers across Australia to meet demand growing number of hybrid working solutions.

These include Spaces Collingwood, in Melbourne, Spaces Jubilee Place and Spaces 80 in Ann Street, Brisbane, and Spaces Parramatta Square and the latter at 1 Denison Street, North Sydney.

“It’s a unique time for the Australian workforce at the moment with unemployment rates at an all-time low. In today’s candidate market, returning to pre-pandemic labor arrangements is simply no longer viable for competitive businesses,” said Damien Sheehan, IWG Australia Country Manager.

“Instead, we are seeing a significant shift towards flexible working with more companies embracing the hybrid working model. Blended working has been, and will continue to be, a priority for the Australian workforce.”

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