Friday on my mind: The workers avoiding the CBD
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Friday on my mind: The workers avoiding the CBD

Staff incentives fail to fire with workers as NSW State Government gets a jump start on the weekend

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Tue, Sep 26, 2023 11:08amGrey Clock 2 min

Massages, pilates classes, free food and beverages and discounted parking have not been enough to lure office staff back to the CBD, a commercial property expert said this week.

Head of research at Ray White Commercial, Vanessa Rader said despite best efforts by employers, staff have been less inclined to come into the city on Fridays, prompting calls for the introduction of a four-day week.

“While office owners and employers are doing their bit to encourage staff interaction in the office by way of perks and experiences such as massages, pilates classes, free cannolis and iced lattes, occupancy levels remain subdued,” she said. “Now Transport NSW has weighed in, Sydney’s public transport prices are set to increase next month, weekly caps however have remained unchanged and Friday is now considered a weekend.”

Head of research at Ray White Commercial, Vanessa Rader

Last weekend, NSW Transport announced that weekend fares will also apply on Fridays, providing all-day travel for no more than $8.90 for adults on metro, train, light rail and bus services.

“However, half-price trips after eight journeys will no longer be available when the fare change comes into effect,” the statement said. “Fewer people are travelling five days a week, resulting in lower uptake of the half- price trips benefit, which has dropped from 24 percent pre-Covid to 14 percent in 2023.”  

City office vacancies are at their highest rates since the late 1990s, with Sydney and Melbourne recording 11.5 percent and 15 percent respectively. Ms Rader said there were several factors keeping occupancy rates consistently low.

“The prolonged historically low 3.7 percent unemployment rate is a stumbling block for many businesses, the lack of quality talent leading to employers having to provide greater flexibility to secure quality staff,” she said. “Hybrid working models allow remote working, be it from home, in regional areas or even interstate with limited need for “in the office” interaction continuing to be commonplace.”

However, data released by CoreLogic last month showed the desire for regional areas has cooled, with key areas such as the Richmond-Tweed, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands in NSW and Ballarat and Geelong in Victoria experiencing falls in values between -10.4 percent and -20.4 percent, indicating a return to city areas.

In the meantime, Ms Rader said the case for a four-day week to entice workers back to the city while maintaining work-life balance is growing.

“The mandating of staff back into the workplace for a four-day week, would do much to stimulate the office market’s demand for space, while promoting better work/life balance, reduced stress and growth in health benefits,” she said. “(This would) leave the three-day weekend to explore Sydney on public transport at a discounted rate, or travelling across toll roads, growing family time and healthy lifestyle habits.”



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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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A 600-Year-Old Medieval Villa Overlooking Florence Lists for €12 Million

The four-storey, lemon-hued villa boasts more than 16,000 square feet of living space and historic character and charm by the bucket load

By LIZ LUCKING
Wed, May 29, 2024 2 min

A 14th-century villa in the hills overlooking Florence, Italy, has hit the market for €12 million (US$13 million).

Surrounded by cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves, the quintessential Tuscan home was built for the Davanzati family—who were powerful bankers, merchants and patrons during the Italian Renaissance who have a museum named after them in the heart of the city. The villa was one of the family’s multiple country retreats, according to Lionard Luxury Real Estate, which brought the home to the market earlier this month.

Courtesy of Lionard

The four-storey, lemon-hued villa boasts more than 16,000 square feet of living space and historic character and charm by the bucket load.

The ballroom has a giant skylight.
Courtesy of Lionard

On the ground floor there are ​​a number of reception rooms and open-air living areas, with many of them boasting antique paintings, tapestries and stately fireplaces made of marble or carved stone.

The most “magnificent” room, according to Lionard, is the winter garden hall, a ballroom with stuccos, loggias and towering vaulted ceilings, illuminated by an Art Nouveau skylight.

Courtesy of Lionard

On the first floor are multiple double bedrooms and an antique library, and the second floor, while in need of renovation, offers the possibility of creating up to 12 en-suite bedrooms. The villa’s tower has a “delightful sitting room and a rooftop terrace offering a breathtaking view of the city of Florence,” the listing said.

The villa has ivy-covered loggias.
Courtesy of Lionard

The basement, meanwhile, has a cellar with brick vaults that are perfect for wine lovers. An elevator runs between the levels.

Outside, the grounds have well-kept gardens, rolling lawns, a fountain, ancient wells and ivy-covered loggias.

Mansion Global couldn’t determine who is selling the villa, or when they acquired it.

The property is “an oasis of peace,” the listing said, and “one of the most exclusive historical estates on the hills that surround the city of Florence.”

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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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