Is everyone WFH again (corporate)?

After the announcement yesterday that masks are compulsory in all indoor places, my company sent us all home. They offered to hand out masks to all 600 employees but there was a lot of resistance from people refusing to come to the office if they have to wear a mask for 8 hours everyday (this would be an OHS concern as masks aren't designed for long term use and they restrict breathing).

We're now WFH for the next 2 weeks (at least). I have a feeling it will be more. Did this happen to everyone else too or is your employer forcing you to keep coming in?


      • +6

        Pneumothoraces aren't caused by masks, just being a tall young man can do that. Wearing a mask might hide the symptoms a little though.

      • +4

        developed a partially collapsed lung and very low oxygen saturation (80%) as a result of wearing a mask

        I doubt this is not what the doctor said or intended. If it was "developed a partially collapsed lung." "Very low oxygen saturation (80%) as a result of wearing a mask." then it makes more sense. I don't see the link between wearing a mask and collapsed mask alone, likely other conditions were involved.

      • +3

        ermm you should know better than directly correlate that persons health condition to wearing a mask without knowing the person and his health history (not saying that it could not be true, but it is extraordinarily unlikely. Your body has many ways to compensate and restore homeostasis. It sounds to me he experienced a collapse lung for whatever reason and the mask was not related to it.

        P.s I work in a hospital and we all have been wearing masks for the last year. no issues.

        As far as evidence, here you go.

        "The risk of pathologic gas exchange impairment with cloth masks and surgical masks is near-zero in the general adult population."

      • Oxygen sats 80% cough bs.

        How long were they admitted to the resp ward for?

        If you mean pneumothorax, then get someone to explain how this happens.

        If by collapse you mean atelectasis, I call

        Edit. Must be 80% sats caused by a ruptured bullous area due to your friend being a massive chain smoking person with extremely severe emphysema

        • So the left basal atelectasis was confirmed by a CT scan, he's smoked 4 cigarettes in his life.

          Masks are fine for healthy people. People with recent rib injuries should not shallow breathe.

          • @mccarthyp64: There is no way that sats dropped to 80% with some left basal atelectasis.

            80% is dangerously low.

            Atelectasis not seen on a cxr is a bit meh.

            If sats are really low then I would bet a lot that there is other pathology and not atelectasis.

            Eg pe / pneumonia etc

      • +2

        You're spreading misinformation.

        As people have pointed out below, correlation =/= causation.

        Spontaneous pneumothroacies aren't anything new. His desaturation would NOT have been as a result of the mask, it would have been as a result of a ventilation perfusion mismatch secondary to the pneumothoracies. NOT the other way around.

        Edit: just saw it was atelectasis… lol… im not even gonna bother, what mdavant said is 100% right.

    • +3

      I believe it is misconceived that it restricts breathing

      Melbourne based too. I had that problem initially, found it hard to breath / get puffed out when they first mandated it.
      But like most things, the body adapts. Now it's no difference wearing a mask or not.
      Also keeps my face warm during winter so I like it.

      If this is the first time they've had mandatory masks in NSW, I understand why they're saying it's hard to breath.

      • +1

        NSW has had mandatory masks multiple times before.

        The problem is that you walk around the shops etc and see so many people not wearing them, and these people are well.

        The enforcement is non existent. Fines should be handed out to these buffoons

  • +60

    (this would be an OHS concern as masks aren't designed for long term use and they restrict breathing).

    Doctors and nurses don't exist apparently.

    • +11

      I had a chuckle at this 'line by Karen' type thinking too.

      Cause all surgeries are done in the blink of an eye (I guess they are if you're the patient).

      • -46

        Surgeries don't usually take 8 hours, and when they do, surgeons would have their masks replaced a few times over their breaks.

        • +23

          Cause there's heaps of breaks when someone has their chest cracked open for a 6 way bypass.

          You can always go outside for a walk around the block without the mask, not really 8 hours straight.

          • -23

            @Brian McGee: Why are you comparing extreme instances of surgery, which involves extremely close contact and dealing with bodily fluids, to 600 (uninfected) people walking around an office?

            • +16

              @SlavOz: Why would wearing masks no longer be an OHS concern when they’re being worn by doctors and nurses?

              And they’re not extreme circumstances. Long surgeries happen all the time.

              • -21

                @jjjaar: Because doctors are nurses are dealing with hazardous materials and bodily fluids on a constant basis. The benefit of protecting against that outweighs the OHS risk of suppressed breathing.

                Context matters. A cable running along a walkway in an office is an OHS breach yet out on a construction site there will be hundreds of of large boulders or pegs scattered about and it's not an OHS concern.


                • +18

                  @SlavOz: Alright, here's some 'context' for you - burqa face coverings - are they something that's not designed to be worn all day, and cause breathing problems? Should those be an OHS office/suppressed breathing thing as well? Do countries that have half their population regularly wearing masks and face coverings have higher breathing issues?

                  Drop some stats on us about all the breathing problems that masks actually cause, or is it yet another case study from the SlavOz 'here's a picture of wot i rekkon from inside my brane' University?

                  • -20


                    Alright, here's some 'context' for you - burqa face coverings - are they something that's not designed to be worn all day, and cause breathing problems?

                    Given the terrible social outcomes experienced by women in countries where the burqa is compulsory, this is a pretty strange point to make. Women in Iraq would kill for the right to not have to wear it. The reason for that? God knows why, these countries don't really let women express themselves or voice their concerns.

                    Maybe you could learn something from all of that. And maybe also that there are rules around wearing a burqa in certain situations.

                    Drop some stats on us about all the breathing problems that masks actually cause

                    I didn't say they cause breathing problems,I said they make it hard to breathe, in my own experience and those I've heard of. If you don't agree there's no need to get your panties tangled. If other people not wearing masks really irks you then go buy 2 masks ans put them both on to compensate for me not wearing one.

                    Thanks for carrying my load <3

                    • +8

                      @SlavOz: I'll do you one better, I'll wear two seatbelts so now you can wear none while you rev your Mustang over 4000 ;)

                • +14


                  Because doctors are nurses are dealing with hazardous materials and bodily fluids on a constant basis.

                  Do you realise those medical masks are mostly to stop the patients getting infected, not the doctors and nurses?

                • +2

                  @SlavOz: The masks doctors and nurses wear in theatre are not to protect themselves so much as the patient. It’s to stop the patient’s open wounds becoming septic.

            • +3

              @SlavOz: You were talking about 8 hours wearing a mask is a 'struggle'. You also mentioned surgeons get breaks from wearing them (general statement) but i brought up a situation where it is not feasible. I also said you could take a break whenever you like in an office to go downstairs and walk around the block, suck a ciggie or go al fresco in the carbon monoxide valleys in the city.
              I never mentioned bodily fluids and that wasnt the intent, cause surgeons have face shields to protect from splatter, though they still must wear masks.

      • +1

        I wonder if many new parents are calling their kids Karen these days, surely got to be an unpopular name now.

  • +2

    Been WFH mostly since last year in Sydney. I'd pop in the office usually once a week. Even then, it's kinda pointless in my case as my actual team is based in Melbourne and the people I sit near don't care that I exist unless there is something on.

    But with the recent announcement, I expect to be WFH for at least the next 2 weeks :)

  • +14

    I save 3 hours commute every day since working from home.

    • +7

      I bet you regret not being in Melbourne; I've had that saving for about 15 months.

    • -11

      you must live in south west sydney ghetto

      • +8

        Not everyone can live in the plush paradise that is north shore like you mate

      • it piss

  • +5

    Been WFH since March 2020, we have had the option of going into the office at times this year, but no pressure to actually attend. We can take whatever we want home from the office to setup our home office space.
    I have enjoyed the 30-40 min extra sleep and not having to drive to work/spend on fuel.

  • +2

    WFH since Tuesday, 17 March 2020.
    One day a week in the office in Nov-Dec'20, (Nthn Sydney) then again from March-June. WFH full time again this week until further notice.

  • WFH since March 2020, told to go back to the office more (two days a week) beginning of June this year onwards, now WFH again until further notice.

  • +26

    (this would be an OHS concern as masks aren't designed for long term use and they restrict breathing).

    One of my relatives is a doctor in a hospital and wears a mask 10+ hours a day. They are alive and healthy.

    If you don't want to wear a mask, then just say so and own it. Don't make up BS excuses.

      • +7

        Hundreds of thousands doctors, nurses and others have been wearing masks for hours on end for decades, long before covid. Some of the fittest people I know - surgery tends to attract those type of people. They do it so they can help others without exposing their patients to pathogens, into their open wounds/bodies. Be more like a surgeon or scrub nurse, they are excellent humans.

        If there’s some medical reason you can’t wear a mask, no worries, there are already provisions for that, just like welfare for those who can’t work.

      • +4

        As I said, if you don't want to wear a mask, then be a man and say you don't want to wear a mask because it makes you look dumb or because it's uncomfortable or whatever. Don't be a coward and hide behind "OHS concern" to take the burden off yourself for your own opinions/decisions.

  • Although I don't get to work from home since critical work still have to be done on site, I appreciate the companies that does give their staff the option to WFH. Traffic and public transport in Sydney has been a lot better with less people crowding the city. Also noticed a fair few cafes and restaurants have lowered their prices to accommodate fewer customers which is nice.

  • +15

    "…(this would be an OHS concern as masks aren't designed for long term use and they restrict breathing)…"

    What horseshit is this?

    I guess a paper cut would be a traumatic event and 000 would need to be called.

    • +27

      What horseshit is this?

      It's the OP, what did you expect?

    • -9

      What horseshit is this?

      CDC warns against placing masks on children younger than 2, or on anyone who has trouble breathing or cannot remove the mask without assistance.

      • +2

        They have to put warnings. US is very litigious. Nothing to do with breathing restriction.

      • +19

        CDC warns against placing masks on children younger than 2,

        One would assume you're slightly more able to avoid chocking hazards than a 2 year old.

      • +12

        I've been wearing a mask in Vic for between 8 and 12 hours a day during the required restrictions. There's no change to my breathing, none of my staff have complained about breathing. If it hinders your breathing get an exemption from a GP.

        In general the only customers I've had complain about it being hard to breathe with a mask are the same customers that complain about everything else.

      • +4

        CDC warns against placing masks on children younger than 2, or on anyone who has trouble breathing or cannot remove the mask without assistance.

        Great - let's ban plastic bags and batteries too. Last I checked it wasn't recommended we give them to children either.

        • -5

          Who said anything about banning? I don't want masks banned, I'm just saying it makes no sense to force people to consecrate indoors and wear a mask. If it's not safe to meet up, the safest solution is to work remotely. Forcing people to come in to work but mitigate the risk by wearing a mask is like countering speeding by wearing a seatbelt. Why not just not speed at all?

          And if the workplace was forcing people to carry around batteries or plastic bags all day, yeah I'd be pretty annoyed at that too.

          • @SlavOz:

            I'm just saying it makes no sense to force people to consecrate indoors and wear a mask. If it's not safe to meet up, the safest solution is to work remotely.

            Except that's what everyone's been doing for the past 15 months, or did I miss something?

  • +1

    Sydney based; my organization has opted to tell people to WFH if they can today. My team made the decision to WFH last week. I’ve been in the office since around October last year or something actually. Australian company, hard on for people to go into the office, fairly certain only because they signed a big lease a couple of years ago, they make it out like they care about your health but would prefer you go into the office during a pandemic.

  • Back to WFH at least for the next few days, will see what happens after that. I was going to the office 2 days a week since before Christmas.

  • +2

    Also, waiting for spackbase's comment…

      • +12

        Also how you come up with most of your topics?

        • I wouldn’t be so quick to judge if you’ve made one post. I rarely post due to the backlash on here if you don’t word it a certain way!

          • +2

            @billybob1978: I've done more than one, the responses I got from everyone were fantastic and supportive. The forum assisted me in solving a rather large issue. I then requested it be removed as it impacted another ozbargain member.

  • After the announcement yesterday that masks are compulsory in all indoor places

    Welcome to 2020……

  • +1

    WFH is very sensible where viable. No such arrangements in QLD atm. Masks are not inherently an OHS issue - annoying, but not dangerous. Regardless WFH is better where possible since masks can’t 100% stop the spread of COVID 19, only reduce the risk. Enjoy your WFH.

    • +1

      QLD here, working for a large Australian company, and I've been WFH full time Mar 2020 to Nov 2020 and then going to the office one day per week since then.

      • Oh that’s great. I’m also WFH one day per week but not because of covid, I used wfh a fair bit before COVID too. Generally speaking my organisation is encouraging people to work as they would have pre-COVID.

  • +2

    A lot of people been WFH since to start of Q2 last year.

    Only thing is a harder separation of home and work time, but then you get to your laundry during the day :D

  • +1

    The main reason I don't want to wear a mask all day is because it means I would have to smell my own stinky breath! 😔

    • you should get an activated carbon mask, I haven't tried.

  • +3

    Your employer has a legal obligation to enforce the public health orders.

    You also have a legal obligation to abide by them.

    The whole masks aren’t designed to be worn for long times and they restrict breathing is just an excuse.

    Do your bit and mask up.

    The longer it takes for people to be compliant, the quicker covid will spread and the longer these restrictions will be in place.

      • +8

        Selective quoting. Here's the rest of it:

        If you are stopped by a regulatory officer in a setting where masks are mandatory, they will ask you to confirm the lawful reason you are not wearing a face mask.

        Officers will only issue penalty notices if you clearly refuse to wear a mask without a lawful reason.

        If you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you may wish to ask your registered health practitioner or disability care provider to issue a letter confirming this. However, this is not a requirement under the public health order.

        In other circumstances, if you are eating or drinking, or there is an emergency, you will not be expected to continue wearing a mask.

        Don't think 'because I don't wanna wear a mask' is a lawful reason.

  • -3

    Childrens masks in Florida tested after one days use.

    The lab used a method called proteomics to extract proteins from the masks and sequence them. The analysis detected the following 11 alarmingly dangerous pathogens on the masks:
    Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia)
    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis)
    Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis, sepsis)
    Acanthamoeba polyphaga (keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis)
    Acinetobacter baumanni (pneumonia, bloodstream infections, meningitis, UTIs — resistant to antibiotics)
    Escherichia coli (food poisoning)
    Borrelia burgdorferi (causes Lyme disease)
    Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria)
    Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires’ disease)
    Staphylococcus pyogenes serotype M3 (severe infections — high morbidity rates)
    Staphylococcus aureus (meningitis, sepsis)
    “Half of the masks were contaminated with one or more strains of pneumonia-causing bacteria,” according to the release. “One-third were contaminated with one or more strains of meningitis-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. In addition, less dangerous pathogens were identified, including pathogens that can cause fever, ulcers, acne, yeast infections, strep throat, periodontal disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more.”

    For a control, the parents submitted a T-shirt worn by one of the children at school and unworn masks. No pathogens were found on the controls

    • +3

      Imagine where those proteins would have went if people weren’t wearing masks…..

    • +2

      “The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) is an independent research and media organization” - lol ‘independent research’ and ‘media’ doesn’t sound like a dodgy combination at all.

      Regardless of the quality of the study, what was the clinical outcome for those mask wearers? If they were all fine, where’s the problem?

      I’m not saying masks are ideal, especially for young children and certainly think avoiding contact with others, WFH, etc is better - but masks where getting close to others can’t be avoided seems like a good idea. This study just seems to be fear mongering unnecessarily. Unfortunately with this delta strain it’s seems neither masks or social distancing are enough.

      • +2

        Sounds about righ

        11 alarmingly dangerous pathogens

        Are not the words proper researcher would use.

    • +2

      Lot of normal environmental bacteria there (assuming this even happened because they've published a grand total of zero supportive data to go along with that), although the TB was an interesting one - I suspect the mask wearer is walking around in the community and may need a diagnosis. Good thing they were wearing a mask.

    • +1

      Michel Chossudovsky is a Canadian economist, author and conspiracy theorist. He is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Ottawa and the president and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, which runs the website and publishes conspiracy theories. Wikipedia

      lel. Mods pls delete for speading misinformation.

  • I am in Sydney working for a Fed Govt Dept. We have option to work in office with mask but preferred mngt option is to wfh.

  • +6

    Sydney is the centre of the universe

    • +2

      Well everywhere else is just camping out.

  • +1

    stopped my 2 toddler from going to child care so i cant wfh due to too much distraction. good thing is the office is pretty much empty, only 3 ppl on each corner of the building and all of us are introverts

    • +2

      So… now your 2 toddlers just roam around at home while you're in your empty office with a few other introverts?!?!?

      • -1

        Yes !, no managers with youtube on full screen on 1 of the screen hahahaha

        • Sorry… where are your toddlers?????

  • Always been WFH since 2020, I hate it. But now I get to work at work at least 3 days a week.

  • Still working from the office (Sydney). As the covid numbers are very low and the infected people are known and tracked it's not comparable to the peak times last year, at least not at this point. So no major reason to work from home. Anyone who is uncomfortable can work from home if they want, management allows the staff to decide what suits them best and taking into account current Govt restrictions and recommendations.

    Everyone in the office is wearing a mask since Wed afternoon as per Govt policy, everyone had their own mask. Our company can supply one if need be. Everyone does the right thing and social distances at more than the required distance. Hand sanitizer stations are all over the office mounted a key locations on the walls near all doors and kitchen areas as well as on desks about every 5 metres.

    Our office has about 400 people over 3 floors and most people come to work between 2-5 days a week since the start of this year. Last year during the peak times the company mandated everyone to work from home except for critical staff needed on site.

    No one at my office has contracted covid since the pandemic began.

  • +10

    " OHS concern as masks aren't designed for long term use and they restrict breathing"

    you are a potato brain.

  • +1

    In the office 5 days a week. Melbourne CBD.

    • +3

      What company is it so I can avoid?

  • WFH 3 days and two days at office.. However we received and email to WFH 100% this week and next week.

  • +3

    There is no way I would sit in an office all day wearing a mask.

    Work from home is the only option.

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