Supermarkets tops for nearby office workers

5:00 AM Wednesday June 7, 2017 True Commercial

Supermarkets rate higher than public transport and car parking with nearby office workers. Photo / Countdown supermarket

Office workers rank closeness to cafes, public transport and carparks higher than supermarkets — unless they’re already 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’ strategic consulting director Chris Farhi says the survey asked what workers would want to be near 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, 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, a plus for time-poor professionals and working parents. Supermarkets are 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.”

Though 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 St and Countdown Metro on Victoria St, 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 employees can do a round trip and eat their lunch within their typical break times.”

Chris Farhi.jpg

Chris Farhi, Colliers International.