Masks off and offices open, but don’t expect a CBD revival yet

But it also anchors across the public service a flexible labor policy that preserves “the benefits of teleworking.”

In the private sector, some of the city’s largest employers of office workers say they are not in a hurry to force their workers back to headquarters.


Telstra, which was early on with vaccination mandates, will maintain its flexible labor policy in the future and expects its core staff to continue to spend most of their weeks working from home.

“Before COVID, our people already worked about two days a week from home, and now that the restrictions are easing, our people say they think they will work about three days a week from home,” a Telstra spokesman said.

National Australia Bank CEO Les Matheson said the bank urged staff to start getting acquainted with the office again, but a full return will not happen until after Christmas.

“When our offices reopen in the new year after the Christmas closing, the expectation is that our colleagues will be ready to go with hybrid practice two to three days a week in the office,” he said.

The Commonwealth Bank has already seen some workers return to work on site a few days a week, but the banking giant will also wait with a major return to office until next year.

“Subject to any health issues or government restrictions, our formal return to our corporate workplaces in Melbourne and Sydney is on February 1, 2022,” a spokeswoman said.

ANZ is also waiting until February 2022 to start a significant transition back to the office.

Westpac will start a gradual return to its workplaces from December 1, but will still run on a hybrid system where specific teams come in on specific days.

“When those who are still working from home return to the office, we will continue to build a hybrid model for work,” a spokeswoman said.

Earlier this year became one Age and Sydney Morning Herald survey among 50 of the country’s largest employers revealed that a large majority would maintain focus on telework even when lockdown restrictions were lifted.

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