Hot-desking and cost cutting have left CBD offices around the country with more empty space than at any time in the past 17 years. For the first time in more than a decade, CBD office markets recorded negative net absorption - where more tenants left than leased space - with companies vacating 242,500m² more office space than was leased. The amount of empty office space rose to 11.4 per cent of the total supply, the highest since 1997.
Major corporates have tightened budgets since the global financial crisis, searching for ways of using less office space and pulling back on expensive CBD rents. Law firms like Herbert Smith Freehills have moved to open plan offices, while a host of companies have gone a step further to hot-desking, where the workers don't have a specific space. Hot-desking can cut up to 30 per cent of a company's office space, while most companies that move to a new building will typically take about 15 per cent less space than what they had previously, according to agents. The Commonwealth Bank turned to hot-desking, which those in the industry like to call "activity-based workspace", three years ago in its Sydney head office at Darling Walk.
Source: The Australian