Working from home

Adelaide CBD: good times and bad

In an InDaily article, Andrew Beer, the Executive Dean of UniSA Business, reckons Adelaide’s CBD will bounce back after the Covid-19 restrictions lift. The full version can be found here.

Unfortunately, the CBD was in decline long before the lockdowns and working from home hit, due to a raft of economic and structural reasons.

More than 100,000 people work in Adelaide’s CBD every day and an important component of these are international students.

Many have argued COVID-19 will mean the end of the CBD, as more of us work from home.

The absence of office workers and international students is killing cafes, retailers and other small businesses dependent on them.

But people are slowly coming back. The main reasons employed Australians worked from home last year were COVID-19 restrictions (12%) and the availability of flexible work arrangements (11%).

Employed women (17%) were more likely than employed men (11%).

Australians working in ‘hands-on’ industries were much less likely to work from home, including 16% in Manufacturing (16%), 15% of Transport & Storage (15%) workers and 12% of retail employees.

Before Covid, the main blocker to working from home was HR. They were worried about insurance and feared workers would not perform.

This was easily overcome by staff taking out their own insurance and by the fact people worked better at home. The real problem was they worked too long.

As I wrote in Opinion Online some years ago, working from home is here to stay. Tt’s more productive, there’s less traffic and less travel costs. It provides the employee with autonomy and freedom to choose.

How this plays out in Adelaide remains to be seen.

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