Otago Daily Times
Vodafone looking to sublease 1ha space
AUCKLAND: One of New Zealand’s largest corporates wants to sublet half its Auckland and Christchurch office space because hundreds of staff are working from home.
So many Vodafone NZ staff now don’t come into the office regularly that the business has decided to try to quit about 10,000sq m or 1ha of floor space, hunting for sublessees to fulfil rent commitments which extend out a quarter of a century, till 2046 in one case.
Chief people officer Jodie King said commercial office space needs had changed as a result of the pandemic, so much so that the company no longer needed so many vast floors of offices.
‘‘On average, around half of all staff work from home and this fluctuates depending on the day of the week,’’ she said.
‘‘As part of our ongoing response to the impacts of Covid19, and to reflect that the way we work has changed, Vodafone NZ has just engaged CBRE and Colliers to sublease a portion of our office space in Auckland and Christchurch,’’ Ms King said.
Prepandemic, more than 1000 staff and about 500 contractors worked inside Smales Farm’s Innov8 Auckland, 74 Taharota Rd, Takapuna. Vodafone leases around 14,000sq m of this glassfronted exTelstraClear building in the prominent site on the corner of Northcote Rd.
Inquiries indicate it could go for $400/sq m net excluding operating expenses. That means Vodafone could save about $4 million in annual rent if it succeeded with its leasing.
Ms King said further staff and contractors worked at Innov8 Christchurch, where Vodafone leased about 7000sq m of offices at 213221 Tuam St.
‘‘We’re willing to discuss exact space with the right business so we’re open to all interest,’’ Ms King said.
Covid19 had changed workplaces. Digital adoption had been turbocharged and other businesses had seen an acceleration of flexible and remote working, Ms King said.
‘‘We believe these changes are here to stay,’’ she said.
Working from home was more prevalent overseas, with a survey by Gartner showing 82% of respondents intended to permit remote working some of the time as employees returned to the workplace and 47% said they intended to allow employees to work remotely fulltime, she said.
‘‘On average, just 60% of our Auckland team members are in the office on a busy day and around 50% in Christchurch. This means there are lots of free desks across our floors so we’re aiming to better utilise this space,’’ she said, referring to subletting.
More Vodafone people were applying to work permanently from a regional location, going to head office only when needed, mostly for meetings.
— The New Zealand Herald