What could offering flexible working conditions mean for employers?

The effects of COVID-19 on where we work

Working from home or rather the option to work from home has never been more of a reality than it is today.

With no choice but to move immediately away from the office to our own homes, it has also highlighted that the daily work activities, tasks and meetings that are required to be part of and run a business can still be achieved and effectively. Technology, fast internet connection, Zoom and Microsoft Teams has enabled many businesses to continue to function and often perform in a changing landscape.

Last October, we complied an extensive Job Market Report. A large majority, at 73.01% had worked from home during April to October 2020 in either a full time or part time capacity with 36.97% saying it had a positive effect on their mental health.

 

Father with baby on lap with laptop on table in kitchen with partner in background

 

Will more people continue to work from home?

Having seen and experienced the benefits of working from home last year, many are looking to continue this in some capacity. When asked about their preference for working from home, our survey highlighted that 24.77% said they preferred it, 15.42% said they would rather go to the office, 13.55% said they don’t have a preference. Just under half, at 46.26% stated they would prefer a mixture of both.

Our figures seem to be in line with the Australian Bureau of Statistics which state that ‘People with a job were more likely to work from home one or more times a week in February 2021 (41%) than before COVID-19 restrictions began in March 2020 (24%).’ Then over the next six months, 47% of employed Australians expected the amount of work from home to remain the same.

Regarding the future working environment, it looks like the home office may be here to stay permanently for many Australian workers. When asked about preferences for working from home, the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show:

  • 42% of employed Australians wanted the amount of work from home to stay the same
  • 14% wanted the amount of work from home to increase
  • 8% wanted the amount of work from home to decrease
  • 9% would prefer to not work from home
  • 26% had jobs that could not be done from home

Employed women (17%) were more likely than employed men (11%) to want to increase the amount of work done from home

 

Working from home with laptop on knee and cat on floor

What the current work arrangements could mean to employers

With 56% of employed Australians wanting the amount of time spent at home to stay the same or increase, this highlights a real need for companies recruiting staff in 2021 to offer added flexibility where possible. Our Job Market Report highlighted that the challenge for employers will also be to find ways to develop a working from home option while also maximising productivity and team cohesiveness. Maintaining the company culture will also be key.

With the office environment so different, companies will need to offer the flexibility their current and prospective employees are looking for in order to stay competitive and grow in the market.

 

If you would like to know more about flexible working options, please get in contact with one of our recruiters on (07) 31359780. Or send us an email to admin[at]abacushc.com.au.

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