Calls for working from home to be BANNED on Mondays and Fridays – as businesses struggle with no customers in ghost-town CBDs
- Cafes across Australia are struggling with people choosing to work from home
- Brisbane cafe owner Giuseppe Petroccitto said some trading days are grim
- Mr Petroccitto hopes to see workers back in the office in big numbers next year
Business owners want city office staff to stop working from home and head out at lunch after their shifts to help hospitality recover.
Life is slowly returning to normal in offices around Australia, but many workers are reluctant to leave their couches and commute to the CBD.
Giuseppe Petroccitto, who runs a chain of bars, restaurants and cafes in Brisbane, wants firms to ban employees from staying home on Mondays and Fridays.
Brisbane retail leader Giuseppe Petroccitto (pictured right) wants to see more office based workers in the CBD not working from home
At the height of the pandemic, Sydney’s usually bustling George St in the CBD (pictured above) resembled a ghost town
‘Things are getting busier… but Mondays and Fridays are still quiet days. Tuesday to Thursday are amazing and give you hope,’ the Santa Monica Group chief executive told the Australian Financial Review.
Mr Petroccitto claims it’s not just about him – he argues working from home every day is unhealthy.
‘Mental health is real and we do need to take it seriously. How can you realistically have a work-life balance when you bring your work home with you?’ he said.
Mr Petroccitto is anticipating the recent opening of Queensland’s borders to Sydney and Victoria will see a bustling Brisbane CBD over the next couple of months.
He is also hoping for a number of late Christmas bookings at his venues so 2020 finishes on a positive note.
Queensland’s recently released budget showed a 5.9 per cent fall in economic activity in the June quarter due to the coronavirus and restrictions.
Treasurer Cameron Dick forecast Queensland’s economy will grow 0.25 per cent leading into June 2021. Western Australia (1.25 per cent) is the only state or territory to also forecast growth.
Cafes, restaurants and bars in major CBD venues have felt the pinch of the pandemic in 2020 (pictured above is St Kilda’s Acland St in Melbourne)
Bar Pacino in Brisbane’s CBD (pictured above) has seen a dramatic fall in trade due to the pandemic
The further easing of coronavirus restrictions, including moving to one person per two square metres and lifting limits on gathering numbers, has also boosted confidence in the Sunshine State.
The pandemic has had the opposite effect in the suburbs. Many cafes are thriving, as locals who used to commute to the CBD each day are now grabbing coffees from their local before logging onto their laptops from home.
Jodie Foster and Dean Wooding own cafes in the CBD and Bondi, and they recently told the ABC their shop in Sydney’s east has kept them in business.
‘Without Bondi, we wouldn’t have made it,’ Ms Foster said in September. ‘Our city store is trading at a 90 per cent loss.’