Asia Minute: Australian Government Encourages a Return to the Office

Nov 6, 2020

People in Australia are starting to deal with a new development in the pandemic: returning to the workplace. While many businesses are encouraging staffers to return to the office, a lot of the workers would prefer to stay home.

Australia’s Minister of Industrial Relations says it’s time for more Australians to get back to their offices.

Christian Porter told Fairfax Media, “it is important that Australian workplaces get back to normal as quickly as possible, which includes getting staff back into the office where it is safe to do so.”

Australia has been more successful than many other countries in dealing with the coronavirus.

Some businesses are encouraging their employees to return to their workplaces with caution.

The National Australia Bank emailed its 34,000 workers saying, “by returning to the office, we want to start again unlocking the benefits of in-person collaboration.”

Last month the city of Sydney announced it would encourage public workers to start to return to the office, while supporting “flexible work arrangements” such as staggered schedules.

Workers seem to have different ideas about heading back to their respective central business districts. Research from the University of New South Wales Canberra finds more than two-thirds of workers want to continue to do their jobs from home.

A separate survey from Citrix shows that more than half of Australian office workers would be willing to sacrifice to work from home. 56% of those surveyed said they’d take a pay cut if they could work remotely all the time.