Victoria’s COVIDSafe restrictions have been changed, as of 6 pm, Friday 26 March.
This is good news, not only for office employees and employers, but also for all businesses throughout Victoria’s CBDs. As we start to return to work in greater numbers, it means trade will pick up across a range of sectors, and our CBDs will once more become the safe and vibrant places we love to work in.
So what’s new? Let’s have a detailed look at all of the Victoria office restrictions changes that have now come into effect.
Office Rules Victoria: Key Takeaways from the New Guidance
1. Return to 100% Capacity
The most important aspect of the new government guidance is that the previous cap on the percentage of a business’s workforce able to go to work has been scratched. Previously only 75% of employees could attend an office space at any one time. Now, 100% of the workforce can be at work on any given day.
Despite the allowance for 100% of the workforce returning, a density quotient rule still applies. This means that offices can only accommodate one person for every two square metres.
At Christie Spaces, we are continuing to keep our workstations spaced according to the government’s 1.5-metre physical distancing guideline.
The spaciousness of our facilities means that we are now able to offer bookings for maximum capacities. This includes bookings for private office spaces, shared office spaces, project rooms, meeting rooms, and conference spaces.
2. Having a COVIDSafe Plan
It is still necessary for all workplaces to ensure that their premises are prepared and equipped for COVID safety. Christie Spaces is continuing to follow its comprehensive COVID-19 Return to Workplace Guide, which was developed when Melbourne office restrictions first began. The guide includes measures such as:
If you have any questions about the Return to Workplace Guide, feel free to get in touch with a Community Team Member.
3. Mandatory Record Keeping
It is still mandatory for employers to record the personal details of anyone who visits their premises for more than 15 minutes. The government advises that this should be done electronically, but this is not mandatory. At Christie Spaces, we have installed checkpoints and QR code sat our entrances to track visitors to the building, but we also encourage individual businesses to implement their own contact tracing system.
4. Face Masks
It is still mandatory for all Victorians to carry a face mask when leaving home unless they have a lawful reason not to. Although it is still mandatory to wear face masks in some locations throughout the state, you do not need to wear a face mask when at the office.
However, face masks are still required to be worn on public transport, even when you are travelling to work. Our Melbourne office space at 454 Collins Street has end-of-trip facilities such as bike racks and car parking to make it easy for you to avoid public transport when coming to work.
5. Staggering Work Times
Although not mandatory under current Victoria restrictions, office workers should try to stagger their work times to avoid crowding of communal areas. These areas include foyers, lifts, breakrooms, kitchens, and so forth.
An example of staggered work times would be having ten employees start at 8.45 am and another ten employees starting at 9.15 am. You can also stagger employees’ lunch hours and finishing times.
Employers can require employees to adjust start and finish times if such a requirement does not contradict the terms of a workplace award, employment contract, or enterprise agreement. Employers can also require employees to follow reasonable directions (such as staggered work times) if there is a ‘genuine business need’, or if such directions are necessary under health and safety laws (such as the density quotient rule).
Our Community Team is on hand to help out with any necessary rostering of kitchen and breakroom use if needed.
Returning to Work at Christie Spaces
At Christie Spaces, we have fully prepared our Melbourne offices at 454 Collins Street for a safe and enjoyable return to work. All of the measures we have already been taking to facilitate this will continue, and you can get in touch with our Community Team if you have any questions about these. You can also consult our COVID-19 Return to Workplace Guide.
If you are not currently a member of a Christie Spaces office space, we invite you to get in touch with us to talk about our range of flexible office space memberships for teams of any size.
Whether you are returning to work or are coming to work with us for the first time, we can’t wait to see you!