Jan 2022

Omicron Variant Interrupts Return to Office Plans

By: Odyssey General, Outsourcing
Tags: Hybrid Working Model, Vaccines

Delta variant has not yet cleared the stage and the world has to admit another, even deadlier and more infectious variant called Omicron. In the US, it is reported that Omicron is linked to 95% of new Covid cases. In Australia, 1.1 million cases were reported since the pandemic began, with more than half of those in the first 2 weeks of January.

Many firms’ return-to-office/recovery plans have gone utterly awry because of this. In the case of transport industry, it is said that half of the drivers at some companies are currently out of action, posing a threat to the supply chain. Products are unable to move to different parts of the country, resulting in limited inventory at many retail outlets. Restaurants and cafés are also affected, with some having to remove certain products off their menus.

To fight against the Omicron variant, governments have rolled out the third dose policy, also known as the booster shot. The third dose is said to be mandated soon for thousands of Australian workers. Western Australia was the first to announce workers in industries already covered by a vaccine mandate to receive the third dose before January ends.

Accounting firms should watch out! It is noted that booster shots may be needed to keep fully vaccinated status in Australia in future. If this is the case, some firms, especially those requiring fully vaccinated status, may experience higher staff turnover and difficulty recruiting local talents in the near future.

Consequently, hybrid working model will continue to be embraced by many firms. With the help of technology, staff can be situated anywhere and still be able to perform work. Once business owners recognise that geography is no longer a problem, they will be more receptive to hiring people from other states and other countries. Soon, outsourcing will also be considered to help firms stay competitive in this challenging time.

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