Canberra business groups are calling on workers to return to offices, saying ACT public servants should be leading the way.
Canberra Business Chamber CEO Graham Catt said the best way to support local business was through demand for goods and services.
"When public servants and others are in the office, their daily spending provides an important boost to local cafes shops, restaurants, retail stores, transport providers and many other businesses," he said.
About 55 per cent of federal public servants are currently working from home, while most ACT public servants are encouraged to work from home when it works for them and their department.
Mr Catt said ACT government public servants could lead the way by returning to their their offices in Civic, Belconnen and other parts of Canberra.
Australian Hotels Association ACT CEO Anthony Brierley said working from home was a drag on the local economy.
"Continuing a broad-brush working-from-home policy jeopardises the ability of the daytime hospitality industry to work at all," he said.
"Returning to offices would provide a powerful economic boost for our city, and comes without any expense to the ACT government."
The Property Council estimated just over 40 per cent of Canberra offices are currently occupied, after surveying its members.
"This low rate of workers back in the city is significantly impacting many of the businesses on ground floors of office buildings, in particular those who rely on public servants for trade," ACT Property Council executive director Adina Cirson said.
"With many of our landlords giving significant rent abatement to these small businesses, the broad brush approach to remain working from home is taking money out of the economy and affecting everyone."
Under stage 3.1 of the government's easing of restrictions plan, people are still encouraged to work from home when it works for them and their employer.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said that advice had not changed, noting workplaces had been the source of new virus clusters in Victoria.
"This advice applies to all businesses and organisations, including the ACT government," she said.
"We know that working from home arrangements have had a significant impact on local businesses and community organisations.
"This is part of the reality of living through a global pandemic. These restrictions are in place to minimise the risk of an outbreak in the ACT - something our city, economy and hospitality businesses cannot afford.
"In other jurisdictions, particularly in Victoria, we have seen workplaces become the source of new cases and clusters."
"The process of return to ordinary workplaces must be carefully mapped out prior to commencement."
Community and Public Sector Union ACT regional secretary Maddy Northam said public service agencies should not jump the gun and return to the office.
"When it is appropriate for employees working from home to return, it's clear that there will not be a one size fits all for this process," she said.
"That is why it must be done in consultation with employees and their union."
Ms Northam said workers had genuine concerns about how health and safety measures, including social distancing, will be managed in workplaces.
"We know that in many building across the nation social distancing rules cannot be followed due to office fit outs and population. That is why it is vital that concerns be properly addressed before widescale return to workplaces. We must take a slow and steady approach because social distancing is not negotiable."
Thousands of federal bureaucrats have worked from home since March as a measure preventing the spread of COVID-19 through Commonwealth workplaces.
The average proportion of federal public servants working from home in the ACT on August 11 was 55 per cent, according to an Australian Public Service survey.
An APS commission spokesperson on Thursday said a single approach for the public service was not practicable given the diversity of its working environments.
The commission had issued advice to help agencies develop and implement COVID safety plans for transitioning employees back to their usual workplaces.
"The Australian Public Service is focused on keeping our employees safe while continuing to deliver for Australians," a spokesperson said.
"APS agency heads have developed plans that facilitate transition back to APS workplaces, taking into consideration the agency's business and operational circumstances, and advice from state and territory governments.
"The advice to agencies is to ensure their transition plans are flexible to effectively respond and adapt to change.
"When making decisions agency heads should take into account advice from the Australian government and state and territory governments to ensure the health and safety of APS employees as well as the continued delivery of critical public services."