News March 1, 2023

New workplace study shows 9 in 10 Aussies keen to return to office if ‘hotel-style’ amenities, snacks and free parking available on-site

Survey of 6,000+ office workers by MRI Software shows the power of modern workplace features to attract and retain best talent in post-pandemic world

Sydney, AUSTRALIA – 1 March 2023 – New research released in Australia today by MRI Software indicates working from home is here to stay but is not the dominant choice for most Australian employees heading into 2023. In fact, MRI’s new Voice of the Employee (2023 Australian Edition) reveals only 1 in 10 Australians (11%) want to work from home all the time this year – that is, if they can get to work within a half hour commute and have 24/7 access to hotel-style facilities once they arrive.

The survey of more than 6,000 working adults includes statistically significant responses from Australia (2,008 including all states and territories), the United States (2,005) and United Kingdom (2,004). The full report including infographics is available for download from

Summary of top findings for Australian workplaces

To attract and retain people in a hybrid or full-time office role in 2023, MRI’s Voice of the Employee (2023 Australian Edition) provides details and insights on the following key findings for Australian employers, commercial building owners and operators, and HR/business leaders:

  • 2 out of 3 employees want ‘hotel-style’ amenities such as areas for socialising (30% of Australian respondents want this), state-of-the-art infrastructure (44%), 24/7 building access (22%), security systems and personnel on site (25%), outdoor (green) spaces (29%), onsite cafes (28%), air conditioning (46%), WiFi (44%), and parking (44%).
  • 91% of Australians consider amenities in their decision of where to work. More than one in ten (11%) rate failure to provide the right amenities as a “deal breaker”.
Short Commute + Free Parking
  • Free parking is rated in the top three priorities of 43% of Australians, just under air-conditioning and high-speed network connectivity, which are collectively top three in all markets.
  • A 30-minute drive to work is the maximum commute time preferred by 46% of Australians. Some prefer no more than a 15-minute walk to work (15%).
Snacks + social spaces
  • Areas for socialising, drinks and snacks are in high demand from 30% of Australians. This is much higher than the USA at only 24% but on par with UK colleagues.
  • Onsite café/restaurant facilities are now highly considered by 29% of Australians, consistent with the UK, but higher than American colleagues (only 24%).
Health + wellbeing
  • Outside/green spaces are popular in Australia, where 29% actively consider such nature-based connections when choosing to start or stay at a job (higher than 26% global average).
  • Gym access is desired by 22% of Australians which is consistent with other markets.
  • End-of-trip changing/shower facilities are desired by 19% of Australians who have the highest likelihood of the three markets to walk or ride to work and want an onsite gym.
  • Bicycle storage is an ask of 13% of Australian workers (consistent with the global average).
  • Personal safety at work is a priority for 1 in 4 workers on average across all three markets. ‘Security systems and personnel’ is ranked highest in the US at 27% compared to 22% in the UK and Australia is consistent with the 25% global average.

Tech-enabled office demand highest in Australia

MRI’s Voice of the Employee (2023 Australian Edition) shows Australia has the highest demand compared to UK and US respondents for technology-enabled workplace amenities known to improve efficiency and collaboration, specifically:

  • Hotdesking, and bookable meeting rooms and spaces – 28% in Australia compared to the global average of 24% (21% USA, 23% UK) suggests a global shift toward more modern office layouts.
  • Smart conferencing tools – significant 20% in Australia compared to only 13% global average.

Case study: Build it and they will come

90%+ occupancy rates in less than 12 months for new Sydney CBD office

Global PropTech company MRI Software moved its Asia Pacific headquarters from Sydney’s north shore to a highly centralised CBD location on George Street early last year after commute times became a significant resistance for employees returning to office-based work post-pandemic.

According to Dean Carpenter, Asia Pacific Vice President Operations & Talent for MRI Software in Sydney, “We’ve seen office occupancy rates increase from an average of 20% in March 2022 moving out of lockdown when we moved into our new CBD office to now averaging 90% plus on peak days with an overall upward trend increasing week on week.

“Looking through MRI’s new workplace report for Australia, it’s validating that we ticked all the boxes on what the survey indicates will attract and retain staff. We provide a central kitchen with espresso coffee machines, snacks and lunch on certain days. We use our own MRI OnLocation and MRI ManhattanONE technologies for easy digital check-in and bookable hotdesks or meeting rooms. We shaved an average 15 minutes from every employee’s commute time. Public transport is now within minutes of the office.

“Lockdown taught most business leaders and managers that people can be productive working from home. That remains true today. Our equally true experience is that coming together in the built environment with attractive facilities also unlocks team effectiveness, growth and collaboration that is less achievable working exclusively from home. This research indicates people might be latching onto that discovery for themselves. Perhaps the old mantra of “build it and they will come” is right for the modern workplace,” Mr Carpenter says.

Download the full Voice of the Employee (2023 Australian Edition) report here.


The independent online research was conducted by Platform Communications and Vitreous World. It included 6,017 interviews conducted via online survey with adult consumers in three markets – the USA (2,005 respondents), UK (2,004 respondents) and Australia (2,008 respondents). Fieldwork was carried out in Q3 of 2022. Expert commentary on the data authored by Cleveland, Ohio-based Brian Zrimsek, Industry Principal at MRI Software was first published as MRI Insights: Global Workplace Report in 2022. Australian respondents were representative of all states and territories including NSW (30%), Victoria (22%), Queensland (21%), Western Australia (9%), South Australia (8%), ACT (6%), Tasmania (3%), Northern Territory (1%), unspecified (1%).


About MRI Software

MRI Software is a leading provider of real estate software solutions that transform the way communities live, work and play. MRI’s open and connected, AI-first platform empowers owners, operators and occupiers in commercial and residential property organisations to innovate in rapidly changing markets. MRI has been a trailblazer in the PropTech industry for over five decades, serving more than six million users worldwide. Through innovative solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI gives real estate companies the freedom to realise their vision of building thriving communities and stronger businesses. For more information, please visit

Media contact
Interviews, infographics and spokesperson photography available on request to:

Heather Jones, Asia Pacific Media Relations for MRI Software
+61 400 394 669 |

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