IT IS obvious Australians will be living with COVID-19 for some time to come.
That point was made loud and clear by the chief medical officer, Dr Brendan Murphy, when he said on Monday restrictions would need to be kept in place until "either a vaccine or an effective treatment" is found.
One of the most significant changes to our lives over the past couple of months has been the rise of working from home.
In fact, it could be argued that working from home has been one of the great success stories of this period as it has played a crucial role in both containing the spread of infections and minimising the impact on the economy.
Hundreds of thousands more Australians would be in a very bad place if recently developed technology and the adoption of more flexible working arrangements had not made it possible to do their jobs from improvised workspaces in spare bedrooms, and, in many cases, the kitchen table.
Since mid-March, the majority of The Daily Advertiser's staff have been working from their Wagga homes rather than from the Peter Street office, venturing out only to conduct interviews and take photographs - while being sure to socially distance.
Such an arrangement would have been inconceivable just a few years ago.
While, given the way the technology has been evolving, it was inevitable more and more people would work from home as time went on, COVID-19 has shaved years off the transition.
Undoubtedly the extra stress on the region's fickle internet connection has exposed its shortcomings, but the main concerns are team building and employee welfare.
A job is much more than doing tasks and taking money. It is also a social activity which involves being in a team and which contributes to a sense of belonging and self-esteem.
Models which incorporate some time at the office and some time at home appear to be the most likely to succeed in the longer term.
If employers and employees can strike a mutually agreeable balance it is a win-win for both, and for the nation, and for the planet.
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