Recent statistics reveal that the Brisbane CBD has a higher number of visitors since COVID-19; however, the number of workers has not returned to pre-COVID levels. The data measured in April 2021 showed that the number of workers in the city was just under 75% of the benchmark. This trend has prompted calls for the government to promote arts, culture, music, restaurants, and major events to entice visitors and families and bring back remote workers.
The Need for a Vibrant CBD
The Tourism and Transport Forum conducted research and found that Brisbane’s visitors were getting back to almost 90% of pre-pandemic levels. However, Margy Osmond, the CEO of Tourism and Transport Forum, confirmed that the number of workers in the CBD significantly remained down. Osmond advocates for a healthy arts and culture sector, hospitalities, restaurants, and major events to bring people back to the CBD. She agrees that a more vibrant CBD will make it more attractive for workers to come back full-time to the city.
The Workforce Shift to a Hybrid Model
Osmond concedes that a hybrid working model, including working from home, has become entrenched across Australia. While the effectiveness of remote work persists, Osmond believes that a more creative and exciting work environment comes when people work at the same place. In conclusion, Osmond advises that bringing back workers should encourage them to return to the CBD because of its attractive features rather than the vacancies to fill in the office buildings.
The Best Recovery Time
Recent statistics from Tourism and Transport Forum report that the best time for the CBD’s recovery is between 5 am to 6 am on weekdays, with an increased 102% number of people observed during the day. Ms Osmond believes that the increase is, to a large extent, due to construction workers.
The pandemic has reshaped the way people work, with remote work becoming a common norm. The aim should be to make the city an attractive place to employers and workers to thrive in their respective fields. The need for a vibrant arts and culture sector, hospitalities, restaurants, music, and major events cannot be overstated in revitalizing the CBD and increasing the workforce’s healthy numbers.