28 Feb 2022

Commercial Bay landlord wants staff back in city offices

2:20 pm on 28 February 2022

One of the country's biggest commercial landlords has given a call to action for city workers to return to their offices.

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Photo: supplied

Precinct Properties chief executive officer Scott Pritchard said time is running out for many small-to-medium businesses which rely on office workers for most of their trade.

Pritchard said more organisations should consider options like sending half of their teams into the office at a time, rather than solely working from home.

"A range of organisations are adopting a hybrid approach to their work settings, and so they're splitting their teams into two or three and they're still having a presence of their workforce in the city."

Despite the country's rapid surge in Covid-19 cases, Pritchard believed businesses shouldn't hesitate to get back into the office.

"Even in today's environment, it is still safe to be in the city, and to be in a workplace if you put in place the right procedures."

There were 14,941 cases of Covid-19 reported yesterday.

Precinct Property owns and operates the newly developed Commercial Bay in Auckland's city centre, which opened in 2020.

It comprises five different office towers with a retail centre of 150 outlets at the base, hosting about 10,000 office workers at capacity.

Pritchard said there were 3000 to 4000 workers there now, well below maximum numbers.

He said he was grateful for the numbers of workers still present in the city, as over half of the retail outlets were local, family-owned businesses who were in dire need of more foot traffic.

"Unless we do have a focus on the city centre, then we're going to see a lot of small-to-medium businesses struggle to make it through the next few months."

He said the numbers of workers at Commercial Bay were an example for other central business districts who were suffering the same problems.

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