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Telstra office staff to work from home until end of the month

Most staff to work from home, no big meetings or events, no domestic air travel

Telstra has asked its office staff to work from home until at least the end of March in a precautionary move amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The telecommunications giant's first step to curb the coronavirus crisis is to move the majority of its Australian workforce to working from home arrangements, starting from 16 March until the end of the month at a minimum.

This does not include store and field team employees, call centres and “some other functions”, according to a statement from Telstra. For these employees, it has instead implemented additional unspecified procedures and place guards.

Further, Telstra has cancelled all events and meetings with more than 25 people from 13 March onward, including its Telstra Business Women’s Awards events.

Internal domestic air travel is also cancelled “unless absolutely necessary.”

According to Alex Badenoch, group executive of transformation, communications and people at Telstra, the decision came not because to a case of COVID-19 in Telstra’s workforce but to prepare itself if the crisis worsens.

“This unprecedented situation requires decisive action, and it’s important we are flexible and ready to adapt to this evolving situation,” Badenoch said.

“Getting ahead of things now will mean we are prepared should the issue escalate quickly. We need to maintain our focus on serving our customers and the essential role we play in connecting Australians. 

“To be clear, this step is not an action or represent a point of view from Telstra on the medical nature of the health risks. It is a practical response to decisions and guidelines from experts being made around us.”