‘Selfish’: CEO blasts workers for common act

People not returning to the office to work is hurting CBDs like Sydney, a chief executive says. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

A Sydney chief executive has blasted those working from home as “selfish”.

CR Commercial Property Group chief executive and managing director Nicole Duncan called in to 2GB Mornings on Monday to comment on people’s ability to work from home.

“This generation is just selfish,” Ms Duncan told host Ben Fordham, describing herself as someone “passionate about people returning to work”.

headshot of nicole duncan cr commercial property group
CR Commercial Property Group chief executive and managing director Nicole Duncan says this generation is ‘selfish’ because they continue to work from home.

“In our younger days we caught trains, buses, ferries to get to work,” she said. “Yes it did take two or three hours, but you’ve got to be in the office.

“You don’t know what you don’t know, and until CEOs make a decision … it’s not going to change.”

She went on to describe how she believed companies allowing employees to work from home was hurting businesses in busy city centres like Sydney’s CBD.

“Hotels are suffering … there’s less business travel, they do it all on (Microsoft) Teams … cleaners, people who make your coffee, lunches, all of those sorts of things.

Sydney’s George St in January 2021, noticeably less busy than it was prior to the pandemic outbreak one year earlier. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

“We want a vibrant city for visitors to come to, and it needs to look busy, it needs to look vibrant, it doesn’t need to look as slow and rambling.”

Ms Duncan said there were distractions when working from home, but Fordham pointed out there were distractions at work too before agreeing that Sydney’s CBD had reduced foot traffic.

Working from home became a regular part of life during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, but since then many companies have changed their policies, allowing employees to continue working from home.