As Australian workers return to the office, the Victorian Government is undertaking a $60m Ventilation Voucher Program as part of a Business Stimulus Package to make workplaces safer and more comfortable for staff.
The commencement of the pandemic in Australia in March 2020 saw business pivot to working from home to reduce risk and ensure the safety of workers and clients.
However, now that vaccinations offer a measure of security against the potentially fatal disease, workers are being recalled to the office and business is adapting to a post-pandemic operational footing.
Following learnings from the pandemic, air ventilation has become a hot topic for many businesses and the Victorian Government has recognised this, with Ventilation Vouchers for projects to support business to make their worksite safe.
A total of $60 million will be invested by the Victorian Government in offering up to $5000 for matched grants to eligible small businesses to improve ventilation and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
This could include investment in:
- building works
- maintenance services.
Also, a $500 voucher is being offered to support businesses buying air purifiers, ventilators and to undertake other COVID safe maintenance.
These upgrades are being driven by the need to promote quality modern workspaces to workers, along with the desire to update spaces that have been dormant or underutilised for two years.
Air purification opportunities
ServiceFM National Operations Manager Les Hubiak said the focus on health and hygiene is at an all-time high as businesses take on the lessons learnt from fighting the airborne danger that is COVID-19 and the Victorian Business Stimulus Package will certainly see that focus sharpened.
“Clients are also asking us to fit our air purification product, Airofresh, to remove viruses, dust, smells and pollution from the working environment. These systems can be provided as standing units or attached to existing HVAC equipment.”
“There has been a real revolution in the thinking behind what goes into making a workplace enticing and maintenance jobs that were once being put on the backburner are now being enacted.”
ServiceFM is also seeing demand for other facility upgrades growing among our clients as they return their workers to the office.
Mr Hubiak said our clients are reflecting on the types of worksites they are offering their staff, particularly in the corporate space.
“What we’re seeing is business managers are looking at their offices and buildings to make sure they are more welcoming for their workers who have become used to the comforts of home,” Mr Hubiak said.
“This ranges from updating lunchrooms, making individual offices more accommodating by increasing their size or upgrading work gymnasiums.
“We are seeing this more and more across the nation and it is even starting at the front gate, with landscaping projects ensuring the entry to worksites is more welcoming.”
ServiceFM provides a variety of facility management solutions for clients in a range of sectors.
The Victorian Government’s ventilation program closes on Friday, June 24 (or when funds are fully allocated – whichever comes first).
Grants will cover eligible expenditure purchased between 1 January 2022 and 15 November 2022. The evidence of the expenditure must be submitted by 15 November 2022.
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