Canadian investment giant Brookfield Asset Management is bucking the trend when it comes to hybrid work in a post-pandemic world.
In the Asia-Pacific headquarters of the world's second-biggest office landlord in COVID-19-safe Sydney, 90% of staff have been coming in for close to a year, according to Sophie Fallman, managing partner and head of Australia real estate. And she's betting that office life isn't dying any time soon, echoing sentiments from Brookfield Chief Executive Officer Bruce Flatt, who has said he's planning to add to his $210 billion real estate portfolio.
"We are an office-based culture, it's best when we are together," Ms. Fallman said in an interview. "It's a value known and understood throughout our firm. That doesn't mean people don't realize that everyone has a life outside the firm, we're all adults about it."
It's a very different scenario from many workplaces globally and even in Australia, where strict early lockdowns have kept the virus at bay while allowing for the opening of most big cities. Wall Street banks have spent the past few months grappling with how to get workers back into the office. Goldman Sachs Group is mandating staff at its Manhattan headquarters report to their desks while others such as Citigroup Inc. are allowing for a slower return and promising a mix between home and office longer term.