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03 – Adapting to COVID environment

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03 – Adapting to COVID environment

Useful things to know and do in the COVID environment for all the employers, job seekers and contractors in the Spinifex community

This is us at one of our weekly catchups. We’ve been using Zoom for a few years to get our 9 offices together. Now, with everyone working from home, it’s become even more valuable, helping us adapt to the new normal.

Our virtual face-to-face meetings allow us to share what we are seeing, hearing and learning with each other … and then with you via these updates.

Here’s what’s been talked about this week:

  • Where the jobs are

  • How people and organisations are adapting

  • More and more people are turning to a virtual mentor

  • New ATO shortcut for claiming expenses when working from home

Where the jobs are

Over the past week, we have listed a number of jobs in the following sectors and locations across NSW and VIC. Over 20% of those jobs are in the Professional, Scientific & Technical sector.






Port Melbourne, VIC



Shepparton, VIC






Wagga Wagga

For more information, take a look at our current job opportunities

Also check out the Australian Government Jobs Hub

How do you recruit and onboard new staff in this environment?

Some things stay the same. Others require us to step out of our comfort zone. In future updates, we’ll track the journey for two positions we are currently working on, a CEO role for a not-for-profit and a financial controller for an agribusiness.

How people and organisations are adapting

“We will be changed by this experience … I think we will now place greater value on the contribution of essential workers … We will be more inclined to work from home. Hopefully interpersonal (and wider family) relationships will be strengthened. I think that even the concept of love will be viewed differently in the immediate future.” Bernard Salt on LinkedIn, April 2020

New ways of doing things. More kindness, understanding and gratitude. Making things a little easier for people. Leveraging technology. Accelerating innovation. Here are just some of the examples we’re seeing:

  • Many organisations, such as health insurer NIB, are postponing standard price increases for their customers

  • NRMA is prioritising roadside assistance calls for those working in healthcare and emergency services

  • Organisations that need to onboard/induct new staff are turning to virtual apps such as

  • Educational institutions, such as TAFE NSW ( are offering free online education and training courses for those staying at home who would like to develop their skills or learn something new

  • Health technology organisations, such as Colour which is developing a high-throughput testing lab, are making their designs, protocols and specifics open source so anyone around the world can use them

  • Businesses are repurposing things they already have, for example you can now buy milk and bread at McDonalds

  • 3D printing firms, such as Italian startup Isinnova which stepped up to produce respirator valves for hospitals, are demonstrating their value and usefulness

  • Companies, big and small, are crowd sourcing ideas and solutions to problems created by COVID19

  • Restaurants and cafes are shifting their models to home delivery

Here at Spinifex, we’re putting a renewed focus on communications to manage risks and identify opportunities for our employers, contractors and each other:

  • We’ve found it useful to add a mid-week ‘checkin’ meeting to our standard Monday startup and Friday wrapup lineup.

  • We’re providing more flexibility for those working from home. Some of those flexibilities are helping increase productivity and may well be extended into the future.

  • A key goal is to help set up our clients and staff for growth on the other side of the COVID environment. This is about developing existing skills and learning new ones.  We’ll talk a bit more about this in the next update, along with addressing the question of ‘Is my job safe?’ which is on a lot of people’s minds at the moment.

More and more people are turning to a virtual mentor

In times of social distancing and working from home, your mentors become even more important.

A Virtual Mentor is someone you chose to follow online. Someone who can give you a balanced perspective, advice, inspiration or things to learn. Here’s a list of mentors Spinifex staff follow:

  • Bernard Salt, social commentator, business advisor, author and presenter > on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube

  • Dave Anderson, Learn To Lead author and speaker on personal and corporate performance improvement including mindset > via blog and podcast

  • Jimeon, stand-up comedian, actor and presenter > on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube

  • Ken Warriner AM, former chairman and CEO of Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC)

  • Liz Jackson, disability advocate, inclusive Design strategist, author, founder of The Disabled List, curator of Critical Axis > on Instagram and Twitter

  • Mark Bouris, entrepreneur, innovator, author, founder and chairman of Wizard Home Loans > on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube

  • Nick Finck, UX design leader, author, educator, mentor > on Twitter

  • Simon Sinek, author, motivational speaker, champion of the WHY, creator of the Golden Circle > on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube

  • Tara Moss author, documentary maker, UNICEF national ambassador, former model > on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

  • The First Click, a digital marketing podcast

  • Warren Buffet, one of the world’s most successful investors > on Twitter

  • All the YouTubers who go to the effort of creating how-to videos, tech reviews and fundraising efforts for others

Tell us who you follow.

New ATO shortcut for claiming expenses when working from home

To make it easier for people to claim deductions, a new arrangement will allow people to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, instead of calculating costs for specific running expenses as they would have to do under normal circumstances. This will be in place from 1 March to 30 June 2020.

Find out more

Last, but certainly not least, we want to send a call out to all our contractors/temps working in essential sectors such as:

  • Food Services

  • Government

  • Healthcare

  • Social Services

  • Transport, Postal & Warehousing

A big thank you from us, for your resilience and hard work above and beyond at the moment.

Scott C Small

Victoria Bila

Managing Director

Group Manager – Operations

Andrew Egan

Damien O’Donnell

Group Manager – Regional Operations

Group Manager – Regional & Executive

Download PDF version of this update