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Patrice Pandeleos: Working from home imperative amid new COVID-19 wave




As Australia experiences significant community transmissions of both COVID-19 and influenza, The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has advised employers to rethink their work policies to allow employees to work remotely.

“Employers should review their occupational health and safety risks and mitigations, and their business continuity plans. They should consider the feasibility of some employees working from home and support employees to take leave when sick,” the AHPPC said in a statement.

Speaking with The Sydney Morning Herald, Patrice Pandeleos, who is the founder of boutique agency Seven Communications, said she has removed the 10-person company’s mandatory office attendance of one day a week.

“Now with the new wave, we’re happy for them to work at home as they see fit. If they’re not comfortable to come to the office, they don’t have to,” the Greek Australian said.

She said the relaxation of the hybrid work policy would be indefinite until COVID cases eased.

Pandeleos (second from left) pictured with the Seven Communications team in 2019 at the Mumbrella CommsCon Awards. Photo: Seven Communications Facebook.

Pointing to the rise in transmissions of COVID-19, Pandeleos said that while the community has become less proactive with testing, it is imperative that more people stay home to avoid the risk of infecting colleagues and their families.

She added that allowing employees to work from home reduces the risk of infection from catching public transport and touching items like doorknobs in common spaces, such as shared bathrooms.

Larger employers contacted by The Sydney Morning Herald, including the Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank, said they would retain their existing hybrid policies requiring staff to visit the office a fixed number of days each week.

SOURCE: The Sydney Morning Herald

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