Seize the day! Optimism shines through in national 2022 sense check

Andras Hamori, Head of Retail Bank at ING Australia

As Australia emerges from the pandemic, a new report by ING Australia reveals 78% feel positive, and some even extremely positive (19%), about the year ahead. The ING Sense of Us Report shows 20% say positivity is the theme of the year and although some 18% are looking for a more calm year, in contrast, one in six 16% are looking to shake things up, describing the year as ‘new’ (4%), ‘energetic’ (4%), ‘fun’ (3%) and ‘yolo’ (2%).

Almost all Aussies (95%) have set goals for 2022 and an estimated 2.5 million people (13%) are confident that  absolutely nothing willstop them from doing their thing. The number one national goal amongst those who set them  is to save money (53%), followed by spending more time with friends and family (39%), getting fitter (38%), and travelling (37%).

The Sense of Us Report is an annual survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of ING. It aims to understand all the things that make Aussies so unique. It reveals that this year, Aussies are choosing to lick (53%) ice blocks rather than bite them, fold (70%) toilet paper rather than scrunch it, make the bed in the morning (61%), and smile at strangers in the street (88%).

What were ING Australia’s thoughts on the study?

Andras Hamori, Head of Retail Bank at ING Australia, commented: “These survey findings show the strength of the Australian spirit. Despite everything that’s happened over the last two  years, people are optimistic and ready to make the most of the year ahead.”

“Aussies are choosing to jump into 2022 with both feet. They’re saving for the things they want, prioritising time with family and are determined to let nothing get in their way.”

“At ING it is our mission to make banking easier, so our customers have the confidence and freedom to get on with  doing the things that matter most to them. For us to be able to do this, we want to understand what Aussies care  about, their goals, challenges, habits and quirks. This is why we created the ING Sense of Us report,” Andras further commented.

What were the key findings of the Sense of Us report?

ING’s comprehensive index can be viewed online, with key take-outs including:

Family, friends and relationships

One in five (20%) say they became closer with their family in the last year, finding new ways to connect (17%) and discovering new activities to do together (12%). Friendships have also been put into perspective, with 1 in 5 (20%) saying they appreciate their friends a lot more now, while others admit they grew apart from certain friends (25%).

More than half the nation (51%) considers their partner the most important thing in their life, while three in ten (29%) say their pets are most important, slightly ahead of siblings (28%). Aussie singles say they are actively choosing  themselves and happy to be flying solo (78%).

New #goals set

While almost two in three (63%) Aussies have specifically set financial goals for 2022, including saving money (53%), buying a house or finding a new home (14%) and starting a side hustle or business (11%), Aussies also revealed some  more individual aspirations including having more fun (31%), finding love (9%) and starting a new hobby (9%).

Home? Office? Or both?

While most Aussies (91%) see the value in being able to work from home, only some (15%) want to do it every day.  One quarter (26%) of workers say they would prefer to be in the office every day, one in five (22%) prefer a 50/50 split. More than seven in ten (72%) people say they have felt more productive at work over the past 12 months;  however, this had led to more than half the nation experiencing work-related burn out (68%).

More than half (53%) have already changed jobs or are considering to.

Online behaviour

Aussie adults admit to using emojis in work emails (51%). Of the new emojis Aussies selected the heart hands emoji as their favourite (14%). Over the past year almost a quarter (23%) of social media users have added their pronoun to their profile. TikTok challenges and dances have increased in popularity – especially for those with kids under the age of 18. Many Aussies (41%) say they have found new friends via social media in the last two years.

And everything else (among those that picked)…

Preferred diet  Meat, fish, fruit and veg (50%),
Favourite food trend  Anything air fried (40%), Feta pasta, (22%) Whipped coffee (16%)
Favourite milk  Cow milk (72%), almond milk (19%), soy milk (17%)
Alcohol consumption  Reduced alcohol intake (51%), stopped drinking alcohol altogether (11%)
New skills learnt  Cooking (35%), financial skills (25%), studying for a new course (23%)
Most popular exercise  Walks, hiking (57%), running (19%), meditation (15%)
Hobbyist’s Favourite hobby  Enjoying nature (15%), gardening (15%), cooking (12%)
Top travel destinations  Europe (18%), New Zealand (17%), Southeast Asia (11%)
A nation of…  Toilet paper folders (70%), ice-cream lickers (53%), night owls (55%), bed makers  (61%), people who smile at strangers in the street (88%)