11/05/2021 - 10:00

Getting back to the office

11/05/2021 - 10:00

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When given the choice to work from home or from the office last week, most employees were deterred by the prospect of having to wear a mask, a new survey has found.

Getting back to the office
Only 8 per cent of respondents said they chose to work from home due to being fearful of COVID. Photo: David Henry

When given the choice to work from home or from the office last week, most employees were deterred by the prospect of having to wear a mask, a new survey has found.

The Property Council of Australia WA’s survey last week received more than 300 responses from Perth’s business community with 66 per cent choosing ‘I don’t want to wear a mask’ as the top reason for choosing to work from home last week as the state’s snap lockdown eased.

Just 8 per cent of survey respondents chose ‘fearful of covid transmission’ as a reason for choosing to work from home, with 14 per cent of participants claiming to normally worked from home and 12 per cent told to work from home by their employer.

Property Council WA executive director Sandra Brewer said where possible, in the case of future lockdowns, the government should consider removing restrictions that were keeping workers away from the CBD, such as compulsory mask requirements in social distanced, seated office environments.

“According to Property Council members, it took several weeks for CBD activity to recover after the February lockdown – this was despite strong calls from industry and urgings from employers and government for workers to return, the economic impact on CBD businesses has once again been devastating,” Ms Brewer said.

“While we recognise the importance of mitigating against the spread of COVID-19, restrictions need to be balanced against the impact on the economy, dropping mask requirements in the office will get people back in the office faster to support local cafes, shops and restaurants.”

Ms Brewer said staff who were seated and socially distanced in the workplace should be able to choose to work without a mask.

“Commercial office operators and companies have worked extremely hard and made significant investments to make workplaces safe for employees, this work should be considered in policy decisions,” she said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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