People management platform Employment Hero has released findings of its annual Remote Working Report, delving into knowledge workers’ sentiments around remote and hybrid work.
It highlighted the continuing popularity of remote work, with 94% of Australians wanting to work remotely at least once a week, up from 92% in the previous year.
The report also highlighted an increase in the adoption of hybrid working and shared insights into the challenges associated with working from home.
The report surveyed a total of 1,000 knowledge workers across Australia about their views on various working arrangements, including remote, hybrid and on-site.
Remote working is here to stay
Although lockdown restrictions have eased in most states, many respondents work from home.
72% are still working from home at least some of the time, of which 27% are working remotely full-time. 45% have adopted a hybrid model, working between the office and remotely.
Only 27% have returned to the office full-time. Additionally, 36% of respondents said they would definitely work remotely on a permanent basis, up from 28% in 2020.
Generational gap in perceptions around remote work
The survey found generational gaps in the way that remote work has been received by knowledge workers in different age groups.
Millennials and Gen Z have adapted to remote work more easily than their older counterparts, with 94% experiencing changes to their way of working – whether that be with new digital tools, flexible working hours or the purchase of new office equipment.
23% of workers aged 45+ said they had experienced no changes in their way of working, suggesting there may be some complacency to adapt to remote work in this age range.
The shift to remote and hybrid working has challenges
Despite the ample benefits, the report has also shed light on some of the challenges experienced by employees due to the shift to remote work.
33% of Australian knowledge workers are finding it harder to switch off, while 29% are missing the camaraderie from co-workers. 21% have reported not getting up from their desks enough.
Ben Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Employment Hero, believes that despite the challenges and speculations around the impending end of remote work, distributed workforces will continue to be a core element of the future of work.
“While we’ve all experienced different challenges from the shift to remote work, the benefits to mental health, wellbeing, productivity and the bottom line are just too good to ignore.”
“Prior to the pandemic, the uptake of remote or hybrid models of working was slow-moving and, often, conditional – a lot of companies were offering work from home days as a perk of employment rather than a way of life.”
“The past year has proved that remote work is here to stay and the flexibility is invaluable. Australians are now expecting to work remotely at least one day a week, if not more,”
“This demand shows that it’s no longer a nice-to-have and employers will be missing out on talent if they’re stubbornly refusing to adapt with these shifts in expectations and the future of work,” Mr Thompson said.
The people management and HR platform is dedicated to supporting businesses of all sizes to make remote working a reality and has recently launched a seven-week series to help SMBs transition to remote working, entitled ‘The World Awakens’.