Sydney firm bucks hybrid work trend, adds more space and piano to get staff back

Sydney firm bucks hybrid work trend, adds more space and piano to get staff back

Brookfield Asset Management is bucking the trend when it comes to hybrid work in a post-pandemic world.

(BLOOMBERG) – It is literally music to the bosses’ ears. Canadian investment giant Brookfield Asset Management is bucking the hybrid work trend by introducing a slew of creative measures, including putting a grand piano in the office lobby for executives to have a go at it.

In the Asia-Pacific headquarters of the world’s second biggest office landlord in Sydney, 90 per cent of staff have been coming in for close to a year, according to Ms Sophie Fallman, managing partner and head of Australia real estate.

And she’s betting that office life isn’t dying any time soon, echoing sentiments of Brookfield chief executive officer Bruce Flatt, who has said he’s planning to add to his US$210 billion (S$283 billion) real estate portfolio.

“We are an office-based culture, it’s best when we are together,” Ms Fallman said in an interview. “It’s a value known and understood throughout our firm. That doesn’t mean people don’t realise that everyone has a life outside the firm, we’re all adults about it.”

It is a very different scenario from many workplaces globally and even in Australia, where strict early lockdowns have kept the virus at bay while allowing for the opening of most big cities.

Wall Street banks have spent the past few months grappling with how to get workers back into the office. Goldman Sachs Group is mandating staff at its Manhattan headquarters report to their desks while others such as Citigroup Inc. are allowing for a slower return and promising a mix between home and office longer term.

Ms Fallman said most people want to go back to the office and it’s a question of employers offering something different. She expects a move away from the tendency to pack people into dense spaces. Brookfield’s new office in Sydney, for example, allows for one person every 15 square metres, compared with 11 square metres in its old location. It also has additional meeting spaces with screens and individual pods for coffee breaks.

The 27-storey, A$2 billion (S$2 billion) building on top of one of Sydney’s busiest train stations has a piano in the foyer, and some of Brookfield’s private equity executives have taken turns to play since the firm moved in last May.

“People want to go to an office that’s amenitised and engaging,” she said. The tower counts Australia’s third biggest bank, National Australia Bank, as the anchor tenant, and boasts two levels of retail space. It also offers an app through which occupants can keep up with events and get free coffee.

She is not worried about the future of commercial property, even as banks including National Australia, Citigroup and Standard Chartered move to trim space in the region. “We are seeing really strong demand for office space in high-quality buildings such as Brookfield Place Sydney,” she said. “Law firms, insurance firms, financial services more broadly are looking for space, and also there’s an uptick in demand from big tech firms. The market is bifurcating and there is a flight to quality.”

She said Brookfield is ready to make opportunistic acquisitions in the market.

While office occupancy rates are hovering at about 70 per cent in Sydney, higher than National Australia’s average rate of 42 per cent, Ms Fallman says the numbers are starting to improve – just not on Fridays and Mondays.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Don't want to fully retire? Here's when phased retirement may work

Old woman working at home.Halfpoint Images | Moment | Getty Images Retirement doesn't have to be a drastic cut from a full-time job to no job at all. You may ... Read more »

Here's how much your Social Security benefits will be if you make anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 per year

The average Social Security benefit is around $1,544. With inflation on the rise, retirees are expected to get as much as a 6% cost-of-living increase in their 2022 checks to ... Read more »

Divorce can devastate women's retirement savings. Here's how to rebuild

Peter Cade| The Image Bank| Getty Images Many people don't think their marriage will end in divorce. However, splitting up can significantly set retirement savings back, especially for women. Divorced ... Read more »

Bitcoin is cratering, again. What investors should keep in mind

Bitcoin resting on United States dollar banknotes.Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images Bitcoin's trademark volatility is again rearing its head, showing investors the risk they're signing up for when ... Read more »

Before you impulsively quit your job as part of the 'Great Resignation,' do these four things first

jayk7 | Moment | Getty Images If you are like millions of Americans, you may dream of quitting your job. You may be burned out, want to do something new ... Read more »

No longer cool to live near the office?

Home values in parts of Greenwich Village and Soho (pictured) have declined by about 10 per cent from 2018 to 2021. (BLOOMBERG) – Affluent New Yorkers used to pay a ... Read more »

Costly electric cars deter drivers from switching

(NYTIMES) – Mr Robert Teglia bought a Tesla Model 3 sedan even though he knew it cost more than many luxury cars. The commercial real estate appraiser tallied the costs ... Read more »

When virtual clothes are pricier than real ones

From left: Renderings of the “Atokirina” look and the “Fibonacci” look made by digital fashion company Auroboros; and a virtual sneaker from RTFKT and digital artist FEWOCiOUS, sold as a ... Read more »

Is YouTube a success?

Because of YouTube’s revenue sharing and other ways for content creators to make money from videos, it most likely has delivered more income to people online than any Internet site ... Read more »

Tech industry will still grow post-pandemic

Amazon’s margins, which measure the profit on every dollar of sales, are now the highest in the history of the company. (NYTIMES) – In April last year, Mr Jeff Bezos, ... Read more »

When the property market turns 'crazy'

(BLOOMBERG) – Soaring prices. Competition. Desperation. The dramatic conditions for US home buyers during the past year are now spilling into the market for rentals. Landlords from Tampa, Florida, to ... Read more »

China Telecom surges in 2021's biggest listing

The rise cemented its status as the world’s biggest listing so far in 2021. HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – China Telecom, the country’s second largest mobile operator, surged as much as ... Read more »

Parents must plan early for retirement: Panel

(From left) The Straits Times Invest editor Tan Ooi Boon with panellists Melita Teo, Tan Huey Min and Tommy Lim at the Roundtable On Retirement. SINGAPORE – Singaporeans, especially parents ... Read more »

Young staff reluctant to return to the office

Younger workers have grown especially attached to the new way of doing business. (NYTIMES) – Mr David Gross, a New York-based advertising agency executive, convened the troops over Zoom this ... Read more »

Money pours in for anti-hacking firms

Breaches have fuelled concerns among companies and governments. (NYTIMES) – As cyber attacks proliferated this year, Mr Sanjay Beri, chief executive of Netskope, received a phone call. Then an e-mail. ... Read more »

Should the Fed tackle the US property bubble?

Industry experts say the US home price boom emerged from a cocktail of low interest rates, booming demand and supply bottlenecks. (NYTIMES) – Mr Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal ... Read more »

The billionaires' banker joins elite club of mega-rich

Mr Byron Trott (pictured) made a name for himself orchestrating a series of deals for Mr Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. (BLOOMBERG) – Mr Byron Trott, consigliere to some of the ... Read more »

Financial planning is key to facing everyday challenges

Parents can expect to pay at least $16,000 in fees per year if they send their child to a university in Australia, the UK or the US. Getting a divorce ... Read more »

This former banker is on a mission to make investing more accessible for S'poreans in volatile times

“Better investing means people can live easier today and be better prepared for the future and retirement. It is more than just money. The societal impact and happiness this can ... Read more »

New-age condos with 'spiritual' services

Ms Leah Forester leading a spiritual concierge event at Jardine, a new apartment complex in Los Angeles. Some developers and estate agents say that in the wake of the coronavirus ... Read more »

US economy recovers, but faces fresh challenges

(NYTIMES) – The US economy climbed out of its coronavirus-induced hole in the spring as vaccinations and federal aid fuelled a surge in consumer spending at restaurants, resorts and retail ... Read more »

Smaller activewear brands a hit among female athletes

Steeplechaser Colleen Quigley is among athletes who has opted to strike new types of deals with smaller activewear brands. (NYTIMES) – Athleta, the activewear brand for women and girls owned ... Read more »

Offering financial know-how to graduates

(NYTIMES) – With financial adulthood comes a series of firsts – apartments, loan payments and other complex decisions, all made while rent is high and starting pay cheques are low. ... Read more »

LV handbags still the rage in pandemic

A bag designed by Virgil Abloh for fashion house LVMH in 2019. (BLOOMBERG) – The demand for popular designer handbags is very strong even though people are staying home more ... Read more »

Young adults here continue to invest despite Covid-19 pandemic

A survey on around 500 youngsters found that 80 per cent of them are already investors. SINGAPORE – Young adults here are continuing to invest despite the pandemic, according to ... Read more »

How to take advantage of market volatility when trading CFDs

IG’s knock-outs act as a powerful risk management tool that enables traders to limit risk while trading on higher leverage with an in-built guaranteed stop. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK The past year ... Read more »

Work from home is spurring some to retire early

(NYTIMES) – For Ms Mona Janochoski, a chemist who ran a laboratory, working from home during the coronavirus pandemic was the deciding factor. It was the first time in her ... Read more »

Oh yes, young people may be easier targets for scams

(NYTIMES) – If you’re a digital native and consider yourself immune to all scams, the thieves have you right where they want you. For years now, the Better Business Bureau’s ... Read more »

5 things to know about Chinese stocks

(NYTIMES) – Americans have good reasons to be wary of investing in China. It’s easy to get caught up in the headlines and go no further. It’s easy to be ... Read more »

New York facing rental slump

(BLOOMBERG) – Condo sales are surging in New York City. But fewer of those buyers are tapping a once-popular investment strategy: leasing out units for income. The idea fell out ... Read more »

How to invest in real estate without breaking the bank

Navigate the daunting world of real estate investment with the help of digital wealth manager, Syfe. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES If you grew up with traditional Asian parents, there’s a good ... Read more »

Will making salary public boost fairness?

NASCAR has penalized the Hendrick Motorsports teams of reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman for engine allocation infractions at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Elliott’s No. 9 team and ... Read more »

Losing money is bad for the heart, says study

TikTok comedian Jon-Bernard Kairouz has accurately predicted NSW Covid case numbers for five days.Source:Supplied TikTok comedian Jon-Bernard Kairouz has fallen from grace after his five-day streak of correctly reporting NSW’s ... Read more »

Pay $272k to return to life decades after death?

(BLOOMBERG) – You probably know this already – high-risk investments are not for the faint-hearted. But what you may not know is that the ups and downs of your investment ... Read more »

How a green future could look like

Last week marked a watershed for technology start-ups in India, as a record bout of fundraising shifted attention to the world’s second-most populous market, just as investors were becoming spooked ... Read more »

Building a financial plan? You may already be on your way

Despite playing a shredded god on screen, Chris Hemsworth is not above the lure of the Colonel. The Australian actor, known for playing muscular Thor in the Avengers franchise, surprised ... Read more »

Women lose out amid fall in bank teller jobs

Technological advances are eliminating the need for bank tellers, threatening an entry point for women. (BLOOMBERG) – For years, women have had a foot in the door to the finance ... Read more »

When machines decide the fate of employees

At Amazon, machines are often the boss. (BLOOMBERG) – It is not exactly the Terminator from the sci-fi movie but in today’s digital age, you can get terminated by machines, ... Read more »

Pandemic hobbies that make money

Ms Jenny Eisler, who works for an online fashion retailer, began embroidering as a hobby at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. (NYTIMES) – Ms Jenny Eisler learnt to knit ... Read more »

Battery tycoon charges ahead in wealth rankings

Dr Zeng Yuqun’s net worth has jumped to $67 billionas shares of Contemporary Amperex Technology surged this year. (BLOOMBERG) – Looks like selling car batteries is a better business than ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic