Young workers call the shots in office race

Pembroke is refurbishing the T&G building in Collins Street.
Pembroke is refurbishing the T&G building in Collins Street.

Younger professionals are increasingly exerting more influence in where their companies should be based, leading some office landlords to ensure their buildings have good amenities to attract tenants keen on staff retention.

That’s the experience of Matthew Knight, vice-president and head of Australia for Pembroke Real Estate, the international real estate investment affiliate of funds management giant Fidelity Investments.

“With the war for talent, to get good people it’s more and more important for tenants to have a good building to keep good staff,” Knight tells The Australian.

“If you’re not in a good spot with all that amenity, you lose your good people.”

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He says more senior workers are often comfortable just to be employed, but young adults are more demanding, due to their upbringing.

“I don’t want to sound harsh when I say this, but the entitlement people think they have because of the way everyone’s brought up to have ownership … young adults aren’t told, ‘You’ll do this and that,’ they’re told, ‘You can do what you want’,” he says.

If you’re not in a good spot with all that amenity, you lose your good people

“When they get into the workforce they say, ‘I want to have it like this’. It’s not to say senior management are powerless, but there’s more of a push to satisfy the next generation of staff because of their propensity to move more often than the older demographic would.”

Pembroke is in the process of refurbishing the T&G building at the Paris end of Collins St in Melbourne, expecting it to be completed by the end of February next year.

Yoga office tenants landlords incentives

Yoga is among the perks being offered by landlords to attract office tenants.

To create a sense of community, a tenant lounge and cafe will be added in the ground floor lobby, which used to be a “very confused” space that included a shopping arcade, Knight says.

Greenery near the lifts, doors that allow fresh air inside and an atrium are designed to help staff feel more like they are outside. End of trip facilities also feature.

The carpark entrance is being moved to the side of the building on Russell St, to remove the conflict between cars and pedestrians at the entrance on Flinders Lane. Having already secured tenants including Accenture, about 13,000sqm are left to lease across three floors of about 4000 sqm each, as well as a smaller space on another level.

Knight says the office market in the eastern end of Melbourne CBD has been particularly tight.

“You can’t get 4,000sqm floorplates in the market, unless you’re in Docklands.”

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