‘Fab Fridays’ to showcase Melbourne at its best as workers return to offices

The Property Council is calling on the business community and government to join forces and rally around the Fab Fridays initiative; a campaign to encourage people back to Melbourne’s CBD after months of COVID restrictions.

Coordinated by the Property Council of Australia, Fab Fridays is an initiative to showcase the best Melbourne has to offer through a program of free events and incentives to attract workers back to the office on a Friday in a COVIDSafe way.

Property Council Victorian Executive Director, Danni Hunter said Fab Fridays was about reigniting the excitement of being in the CBD on a Friday, spending the day at work with colleagues and continuing to enjoy all that Melbourne has to offer into Friday evenings and the weekend.

“Fridays are about celebrating the week and anticipating the weekend. COVID has changed so many things about our life, but the joy of catching up in person with your colleagues and friends is irreplaceable,” Ms Hunter said.

“With only 24% of workers back in Melbourne’s CBD, and hospitality businesses and retailers missing much-needed foot traffic, the Property Council has come up with the idea to get people back to the office on Fab Fridays, to play, stay and spend in the city into the evening and weekend.

Fab Fridays will bring together the business community and government. Together, we want to incentivise Melbourne’s workers back into the city on a Friday in a safe and structured way. Where possible, it would be great to see them enjoy a Friday night in the CBD.”

Ms Hunter said as part of Fab Fridays, office owners, employers, cafes and restaurants and retailers are asked to get on board through initiatives such as:

  • Putting on early morning activities such as group yoga sessions;
  • Providing free or discounted food and coffee options in the office throughout the day;
  • Introducing a ‘4pm knockoff pledge’ for city workers to go out and enjoy the city’s retail and hospitality options; and
  • Kickstarting an exciting social media campaign showcasing Fridays in the city.

“It’s been so long since we’ve been able to get together properly, we know that people might need an incentive or two as extra motivation. We’d like to see free public transport as just one way that will encourage Melburnians into the CBD on Friday night, with the extra incentive of knowing you’ll get home safely after a wonderful dinner and show.

“We are calling on CBD bosses to make the 4pm Knockoff Pledge, encouraging workers to leave the office together and either go for a walk through the city or enjoy a cheeky after work drink at a city pub. There is no better way to reward yourself after a walk than dinner at one of Melbourne’s world class restaurants or hospitality venues.”

“Melbourne’s CBD is the heart of our state’s economy. Without a significant increase in office occupancy, our modelling shows Victoria could lose out on more than $2.5 billion of economic activity. This activity supports tens of thousands of jobs, especially in the retail and hospitality industries.

Ms Hunter said Property Council members were proud of their efforts to encourage people to the city, particularly through significant investment in COVIDSafe workplaces and called on the Victorian Government to demonstrate its commitment to a thriving and safe CBD.

“Melbourne’s CBD supports more than 48,000 public sector jobs and we’d love to see the Government make a concerted effort to encourage them to be in the office and active in our city on Fridays,” Ms Hunter said.

“We’re hoping that the different levels of government will come to the table with their own incentives and initiatives to support Fab Fridays.”

Fab Fridays are intended to launch officially on Friday 23 April, with interested organisations encouraged to get in touch with the Property Council’s team at [email protected].

“April is a great month to be in Melbourne, with the start of the AFL season, the return of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and a wide range of fantastic and unique arts and culture offerings,” Ms Hunter said.

“There’s no better time to get back to the city and it will all start with Fab Fridays. Our city needs you, Melbourne needs you. Let’s get back into our wonderful city starting with Fab Fridays.”

Media contact:  Andrew Lowcock | 0447 666 902 | al[email protected]