MONDAY, January 18 saw the biggest jump to getting back to work, with the state government now allowing 50 per cent of staff allowed back on site for private organisations.
Wimmera Development Association director Chris Sounness said this is an opportunity to develop best practices for working either on site or remotely.
"Returning to office will allow teams to take a chance to rethink what will be the best for the business and individuals. We've had a chance to think about working from home," Mr Sounness said.
"2021 will be the year where we can get the best of both worlds."
Mr Sounnes said a more flexible approach to work will see a boost to the economy.
"Anything that makes employment more attractive and is better to be able to meet the needs of the employee and the organisation will always boost the economy because recruiting and retaining staff is a huge cost," he said.
Though getting back to the office will also be a morale booster for staff.
"Last year at the height of the lockdown was tough for a lot of people," Mr Sounness said.
"A lot of people were trying to deliver work while homeschooling found it difficult, so those people are particularly looking forward to getting back to the office.
"Getting a team back together and that face to face interaction is so crucial."
Mr Sounness said being able to work from home opens up opportunities for people who have relocated to areas like the Wimmera.
"It's about the conversation," he said.
"If you are in retail, trade or agriculture, these tend to be hard to do remotely. The business that can be done remotely, there are real opportunities.
"People who have moved close to their family from Melbourne, Adelaide or Sydney and want to stay close now and want to keep doing that, they know can still keep working for a large corporate organisation and still deliver great work. You don't have to be in the CBD to do that anymore.
"It's one of the advantages we want to grab."
COVID-19 and safety is still paramount when organising the workplace and ensuring each organisation has a back to work plan.
"Businesses still have that underlying concern of the health and safety of their workforce, COVID-19 is still here and everyone is trying to make sure their workplace is safe," Mr Sounness said.
"It's about creating that habit in the workplace that we have to be front and centre thinking what the protocols are and creating a safe workplace.
"But also making sure people can do their job and feel like a part of a team again."
Mr Sounness said the offices will have a mix of how they get back to the new normal and 2021 will look different for many organisations.
"It won't be one size fits all," he said.
"The employees and employers need to be up for the conversation to find out what is going to allow both the company and employee to all achieve their best."
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