WHAT: Wellington and Auckland in New Zealand are both experiencing strong relocation from their central business districts. The Bank of New Zealand has reduced its branches by a third and Contact Energy (one of New Zealand’s largest energy, electricity and broadband providers) has closed offices in Auckland and Wellington after implementing teleworking permanently. Other large companies are also moving from the city centre to the suburbs.
SO WHAT: When companies reduce their space or close down offices, this reflects a permanent shift from working in the city to people instead working closer to their home environment. This is no longer a phase but a long-term trend that is beginning to take shape. It is particularly interesting to see in New Zealand because the country has so far been one of the least affected during the pandemic. As a result, future investments in office space may be reduced as they no longer need to accommodate individual work, but instead focus on activity-based creative collaborations, and business districts are relaxed in favour of a more sustainable, green and multifunctional urban environment.