Office workers prefer car parks to supermarkets

But office workers near supermarkets rate them highly, survey finds

Office workers rank proximity to cafes, public transport and car parks higher than supermarkets

Office workers rank proximity to cafes, public transport and car parks higher than supermarkets – unless they’re already used to working near a supermarket, in which case it’s a must-have.

The findings come from Colliers International’s ongoing Office Insight Survey, which gathers information from office workers about how their workplaces can be improved.

Colliers International Strategic Consulting Director Chris Farhi says the survey asked people what they would want to be close to if they were choosing their office location.

“Our early results show some interesting insights about supermarkets. For most office workers, office locations near supermarkets are not a high priority.”

Farhi says the top three preferences in almost all cases are a combination of cafes and lunch options, public transport and car parking.

“We joke, but the results support the idea that office workers simply want an easy way to get to work so they can eat their lunch,” he says.

However, the results change substantially among workers who are used to being close to supermarkets.

“At nearly every office close to a supermarket that we’ve surveyed, the workers rank supermarkets as the most desirable feature,” Farhi says.

“It’s little surprise they prefer supermarkets to cafes or other lunch options, given they all provide food.

“What’s interesting is that they also rate supermarkets higher than public transport and car parking.”

Farhi says there are some pretty compelling reasons why office workers would want to be close to a supermarket.

“New Zealand's supermarkets have been refining themselves in recent years, particularly those in big cities and metropolitan office areas,” he says.

“Supermarkets offer genuinely cheap lunch options across a wide selection of foods.

“They also offer convenient grocery shopping, which is a plus for time-poor professionals and working parents.

“Supermarkets are also convenient from a business perspective, with many offering catering through on-site delis.”

Farhi says businesses are starting to pay attention.

“Facebook’s global facilities director, Chris Lunny, recently told the CoreNet Symposium in Auckland that the tech giant is looking at introducing a supermarket to its headquarters in California.”

While New Zealand businesses are unlikely to go that far, Farhi says there are still lessons to be learned for Auckland businesses.

“Companies may want to consider offices close to supermarkets when choosing a new location.

“Luckily there are many office locations in Auckland with supermarkets nearby.”

The CBD is well served by the New World Metro on Queen Street and Countdown Metro on Victoria Street, while the inner city is served by the New World at Freemans Bay and Countdown on Quay St.

Auckland also has many office precincts with shopping centres containing supermarkets, including Newmarket, Sylvia Park, Manukau, Albany and Westgate.

The Quad office campus, in Auckland’s airport precinct, is adjacent to a Countdown supermarket.

However, Farhi warns the benefits are only real if the supermarket is a short walk away.

“Make sure it is close enough that your team can do a round trip and eat their lunch within their typical break times.”

Farhi says there are many more factors to consider when choosing a new office.

“If you’re unsure what your office needs to attract and retain the best talent, talk to Colliers International’s Strategic Consulting team today. We can help you find the best mix of amenities in the right location.” 

Farhi, a part-time lecturer for the University of Auckland’s Bachelor of Property degree programme, was recently named Young Achiever of the Year at the 2017 RICS Awards, which recognise excellence in property.

Find out more about Strategic Consulting for tenants or Strategic Consulting for owners.

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