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The data doesn't lie: have Government-tenanted buildings ACTUALLY been slower to return to the office than the CBD average - or is this just a perception?

Learn what the return-to-the-office looks like in Melbourne Government-tenanted buildings compared with the CBD average

Contrary to what some in the property industry believe, Melbourne CBD office buildings tenanted by Government workers have observed similar Worker Activity levels as the Melbourne CBD average.

“Worker Activity” is a standardised metric that allows the comparison of worker activity levels between office buildings, irrespective of building size and vacancy level. The data is updated weekly in, our platform where subscribers can profile office workers and follow trends in changing patterns of office worker behaviour.

A group of Melbourne CBD office buildings with major Government tenants were selected and the average Worker Activity for Government buildings was derived (Blue Line) and compared against the Melbourne CBD average (Red). Since January 2022, Worker Activity in Government tenanted buildings has only marginally below the CBD average.

Using data generated in, we have also observed that:

  • Office workers steadily returned to Melbourne CBD office buildings in early 2022, following their summer holidays;
  • Worker Activity increased even further following the removal of the public health recommendation for Victorians to work from home and masks no longer being required in the office (25th February);
  • A sharp decrease in Worker Activity was observed in April 2022 during school holidays, then began to increase again after Anzac Day (25th April) to the point where the CBD Average and Government Average converged (week ending 20th May);
  • Following this, Worker Activity in Government buildings declined sharper than the Melbourne CBD average (around the time COVID-19 cases started to rise);  
  • The Melbourne CBD average has plateaued during winter
  • Worker Activity in Government buildings has began to recover and has now almost converged with the Melbourne CBD average (which continues to plateau), as the most recent August data becomes available in

As allows Worker Activity to be shown at an individual office building level, subscribers can compare office buildings against each other. For example, the graph below shows the Worker Activity for the individual office buildings with major Government tenants (different coloured lines) that were selected to generate the Government Average (blue).

This graph indicates that some office buildings with Government as the major tenants are actually trending above the CBD average, whereas some are well below. Interestingly, most of the Government buildings follow a similar trend, with an observed decrease in Worker Activity during April 2022 for school holidays and another noticeable dip at the end of June. An uptick in Worker Activity for all Government buildings trending above the CBD average was observed at the end of July and beginning of August.

In conclusion, it is clear that not all Government tenanted buildings are the same when it comes to Worker Activity, which is a proxy for building occupancy.

If you would like to see Worker Activity for another industry, or compare Worker Activity at an individual office building level, please contact us here.

Connor Dixon

Property Analyst