Director People and Culture Kaarina Phyland
Does the City anticipate more of its staff will seek to work from home more often from now on (even when the pandemic is over)? Has it done any research/surveying of staff to gauge how staff feel about this?
The City is committed to providing workplace flexibility for employees, beyond current COVID-19 working from home requirements. Staff have told us that they value ongoing flexible work arrangements and we understand it is highly regarded by prospective employees.
Does the City have a policy regarding working from home and is this being reviewed?
The City is developing best practice workplace flexibility policies which support the needs of our employees and community. Working from home and other flexible work arrangements will become part of the fabric of the organisation.
Does the City anticipate any increase in working from home in the future could lead to it decreasing its office spaces?
The transition to a more flexible workplace has been reflected in the design of our new Civic Precinct, which will host our consolidated Central Geelong workforce from 2022.
In terms of the CBD broadly, are there concerns that a long-term shift towards often working from home for many workers could impact the CBD economy due to less foot traffic from office workers?
Employees will work from the office and from home, in flexible arrangements that best suit their needs and their team's needs. This will have impacts for the CBD but also the local neighbourhoods where people live and work.
We are continually monitoring the pandemic's impact to the economy and seeking feedback to determine how we and other governments can best support local businesses. To date, the Council has allocated an estimated $16.9 million to help alleviate the immediate and short-term impacts of COVID-19 for businesses, community groups and residents.