Friday, 22 Sep 2023

Time to go back: city business owners rail against Australias working from home shift

Time to go back: city business owners rail against Australias working from home shift


Time to go back: city business owners rail against Australias working from home shift

When cafe and small bar owner Dieter Steinbusch puts on one of his favoured khaki shirts, it reminds him of a freedom fighter. He also has a Breton striped top that gets him thinking about the French military.

His inner-city Sydney business endured pandemic lockdowns and then staff shortages, forcing Steinbusch to work more than 100 hours some weeks at his morning espresso-to-nightcap establishment, York Lane.

But that turned out to be the easy part, compared with what came next.

Steinbusch's customers are increasingly working from home, and therefore not drinking or eating at the establishment he has built up over 12 years.

"This is my war," says Steinbusch, who says there has been a 40% drop in trading from pre-pandemic levels.

"Imagine how you'd feel if someone took that amount out of your wage. People are coming up with any excuse not to go to the office. But I'm still here, I'm part of the resistance."

While working from home (or WFH) started as a necessary response to the pandemic, it is now one of its enduring legacies.

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