Australian employers delay office return until February

Australian employers delay office return until February | Insurance Business

Australian employers delay office return until February

In a move that is sure to interest many of the country’s largest insurance companies, a host of Australian employers are delaying plans to return to the office until February.

Many employers have put up social distancing signs in their offices and plan to limit the number of staff per room as workers prepare to return to the office. However, some major employers have decided to delay their office return until the situation around COVID hopefully becomes clearer next month, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Medibank people and culture executive Kylie Bishop said Medibank would reopen the Sydney office “shortly,” but delay a phased return of Melbourne offices until February. It will also adopt flexible working conditions in both cities permanently.

“Both these sites will reopen subject to government advice at the time and with a COVIDSafe plan in place. Medibank is moving to a new way of working in 2021, with the type of work to determine the setting, whether that be in the office, at home or another location,” Bishop said, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Bank said it will keep the hybrid model – some staff in the office and some working from home – through to February.

“We continue to monitor the situation and are currently looking to a hybrid return for many of our people in February, pending no new health concerns or restrictions are advised by the Victorian or NSW governments,” a CBA spokesman said, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Flexibility and remote working will be important in helping us manage building occupancy rates to ensure we comply with physical distancing requirements.”

Telstra has also encouraged staff to work from home until February and will enable flexible work conditions after the government eases restrictions.

“As things return to normal, many see themselves coming into the office up to two days a week to collaborate, see customers, and connect with their team. But there’s a wide range of views on this, with some keen to come back into the office full-time and others not at all,” the spokesman said.