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  • Perth has recorded its lowest office occupancy level since July 2020, according to the Property Council of Australia Office Occupancy Survey
  • While every other state saw an increase in the number of office employees returning to the city, Perth suffered a decrease, with occupancy levels at 55 per cent compared to pre-covid levels
  • According to Property Council WA research, more than 61 per cent of workers who choose to work from home did so because of mask regulations
  • “To paraphrase Health Minister Amber Jade Sanderson, we have, in all but name, lockdowns in our CBD… it’s essentially lockdown by policy,” Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer says

Perth has recorded its lowest office occupancy level since July 2020, according to the Property Council of Australia Office Occupancy Survey, as the city feels the effects of COVID-19 community transmissions.

While every other state saw an increase in the number of office employees returning to the city, Perth suffered a decrease, with occupancy levels at 55 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Executive Director of the Property Council WA Sandra Brewer said the survey results were a big setback for the business sector, which had been careful in following government guidelines in the assumption that WA’s reopening would be free of constraints.

“For two years, businesses across the state have managed staff shortages, supply constraints, a total pause on tourism, rolling restrictions, vaccination requirements and mask mandates, under an assurance that compliance would mean a quick transition to living with COVID-19,” she said.

“Instead of benefiting from learnings on the east, we are now experiencing a replication of the economic damage we sought to avoid.”

Mrs Brewer appreciated and praised the state government’s support of employees to continue working from the office. However, the occupancy numbers show that, despite significant encouragement, many were discouraged by other legislative constraints.

According to Property Council WA research, more than 61 per cent of workers who choose to work from home did so because of mask regulations. Only 10 per cent of workers were working from home due to fear of COVID-19 transmission.

“To paraphrase Health Minister Amber Jade Sanderson, we have, in all but name, lockdowns in our CBD … it’s essentially lockdown by policy,” Mrs Brewer said. 

If you are based in Perth and working from home this week, what is your primary reason?

I don’t want to wear a mask         61%

My employer told me to               18%

I normally work from home          11%

Fearful of COVID transmission      10%

* Survey conducted week beginning 14/02/2022

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