Shape the future of your assets.

Just a short while ago, an Australian office worker’s number one want, in terms of office building amenities, was an ATM within walking distance. Today, technology advances have arguably changed the way we rely on such services. So too have our work habits and needs.

So, does access to the humble ATM still rank highly on an office worker’s list? Or has it been superseded by postal and delivery services, allied health professionals or more and better food?

The answer to this, and much more, will be uncovered in the 2019 Urbis Office Worker Survey. Helping building owners and managers ensure their assets’ competitiveness, the study will not only reveal how spending habits have evolved, the changing wants and work day activities of office workers – it will inform tenancy mix, planning and design of the right shared facilities for your building, and market positioning.

In 2013, almost half of the average Australian office worker’s weekly spend was on food and beverage. Buildings with food courts managed to keep 49% of all F&B spend in-house. Sydney workers were the highest spenders, and those who worked in an office building with access to extensive retail spent 15% more than those without. All up, Australia’s 850,000 inner-city office workers contributed $9 billion to the nation’s retail economy in 2013.

The question is: how has this changed in 2019? And how can you, the building owner or manager, position your assets to respond to changing spending habits?

To ensure the success of your assets, one cannot limit thinking to only retail options. The way office workers work is changing, and with that the standards for office building design. Do your buildings offer the amenities and services today’s office worker wants or needs? How do your buildings stack up against your competitors’? Do you really know what they want or need? This is what the 2019 Urbis Office Worker Survey will reveal.

The national study will help you understand what office workers really want and use in terms of retail, non-retail, end of trip and shared building facilities. It will reveal the various retail and building amenities that workers desire – or expect in today’s competitive market.

The survey results will quantify the level of retail spend and extent of amenity used by workers in your building – and will help you ascertain its ability to cater to demand. It will highlight potential gaps in your offerings and outline how your buildings compare to best practice.

The study aims to include office workers in a variety of environments – CBD and fringe CBD office towers, mixed use developments, business parks and suburban activity centres with retail and office provision.

Specifically, the survey will address the following areas and issues:

Retail spending behaviour

  • How much office workers spend on key retail categories (while at work):
    • F&B: breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and snacks, after-work drinks
    • Convenience/grocery shopping
    • Services (e.g. dry cleaning, hairdressing, postal services, etc.)
    • Apparel, accessories and other shopping
  • Breakdown of in-person versus online retail spend
  • Where they spend their money – in the building, 3-4-minute walk from building (i.e. 1 block), further from the building or delivery services
  • Demographics of who is spending and who is not spending:
    • what creates variation in expenditure – comparing your buildings to benchmarks will help with understanding the variations in expenditure

Satisfaction and unmet retail needs

  • How satisfied office workers are with the retail offer in and around their building
  • What retail facilities office workers want access to – thus what are the gaps / opportunities within the current offer in and around your buildings

Use and demand for non-retail services and other amenities

  • Office workers use of and what specific end-of-trip facilities, shared or other facilities they want, such as changerooms, bike storage, lockers, etc.
  • What other services (e.g. gym, medical, childcare, etc.) office workers want in and around their building

Worker profile

  • Demographic and work profile (e.g. age, gender, life cycle stage, income, home postcode, occupation, industry/company type, employment status and days/hours worked in the office, mode of transport to/from work)

Custom questions for your building/portfolio

  • Opportunity to add two custom questions per client, designed specifically for your buildings

Working directly with building managers, the online Urbis Office Worker Survey will be carried out in a hassle-free manner. Expected to take approximately 10 minutes of the employee’s time, the survey can be completed at their leisure over the two-week open period – with prizes on offer to incentivise their participation.

The 2019 Urbis Office Workers Survey will provide critical insights that will assist you in identifying and tailoring enhancement opportunities for your buildings.

The results will be presented in a national report detailing the spending habits, work day activity and office building facility needs of Australian office workers. The results will be categorised by state, city and office location (i.e. CBD, edge of CBD, business park, etc). Moreover, you will receive a personalised portfolio summary via an online dashboard, showcasing the results for your buildings compared with the national benchmark.

The survey is due to commence soon, with results available in June/July. The cost to get your hands on this vital information is detailed as follows (excluding GST):

Single building contributor


2 – 4 building contributor

$8,500 per building

5+ building contributor

$7,500 per building

Register your interest and advise the number of buildings you want to participate via

We will be in touch within 1-2 business days with more details.

Our work with the commercial and retail sectors draws on our extensive expertise across the board. We know the sector and its drivers better than anyone.

We help our clients prepare for – and shape – the future of commercial and retail environments.

For more information on the 2019 Urbis Office Workers Survey or to find out how Urbis can help you on your next commercial or retail project, contact Sue Say or David McLeod.

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