Fuel prices Australian workers
Survey indicates 54% of Australian workers plan to continue working from home, after being hit hard at the bowsers by rising fuel costs. Image – Canva
  • More than half of Australians surveyed plan to work from home to avoid bite of rising fuel costs
  • 68% believe employers should offer monetary support for costs incurred during commute
  • Winter may provide relief to declining occupancy rates, with 16% more willing to work in office to avoid rising heating costs

New findings of a OnePoll survey conducted by Citrix Systems suggests Australians are holding off on returning to the office over concerns for rising fuel prices.

The survey of 1,000 Australian workers found despite offices welcoming employees back to the physical workspace, 54% of employees are opting to continue working remotely.

Attitudes around the globe are much the same, with close to half of the workforce also choosing to stay home.

Aussies favouring WFH as fuel prices rise

With the pandemic forcing businesses to rapidly adopt and strengthen remote working capabilities, it’s no surprise workers are keen to keep their newfound flexibility alive as commuting costs increase.

Commuters are being hit even harder at the bowser for the third week in a row. According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average price rose by a further 1.4 cents in the past week alone, reaching 179.6 cents a litre.

Data released by the Productivity Commission indicates the average Australian worker is set to save $394 in public transport costs per year by working from home just once a week

Australians aren’t alone in the bid to reduce travel to the office, with a poll of 6,500 workers across eight countries reflecting similar attitudes.

International attitudes towards working from home amid rising fuel prices

Country % of workers who will work from home to reduce commuting costs
United States 57
Australia 54
Brazil 54
Mexico 50
Colombia 49
Germany 46
United Kingdom 45
France 44
Netherlands 40

Calls for employers to offer commuting cost support

Managing Director of Citrix for Australia and New Zealand, Martin Creighan, weighed in on why employees are favouring working remotely.

“Employees have learned they can engage and be just as productive working from home, and as fuel prices continue to increase, they are questioning whether the benefits of being in the office outweigh the time and money associated with commuting.”

Martin Creighan, Citrix

Martin Creighan Citrix
Martin Creighan, Citrix. Image – Citrix.

Expectations are also high for monetary assistance from employers to cover fuel costs, either by inflating salaries or establishing fuel allowances. Nearly seven in 10 Aussies were found to believe this should be enacted.

International attitudes towards employer support for commuting costs

Country % of workers who believe employers should provide monetary assistance for commuting costs
Mexico 87
Brazil 87
France 84
Colombia 84
Germany 77
United States 74
Australia 68
Netherlands 65
United Kingdom 65

Heating costs may warm up cold feet

Though finding that many Australian workers still have cold feet towards returning to the office, it’s likely that attitudes will shift once winter sets in.

16% of Australian employees surveyed indicated they would be more willing to work in the office during the winter months to reduce heating costs within their homes if higher prices endure.

Citrix says employers aren’t to worry about dwindling occupancy rates however, if they are to embrace flexible working models, technology and policies.

“The key to keeping employees engaged and productive lies in creating work-from-anywhere experiences that are seamless, fuel connection and collaboration, and empower people to do their best work, regardless of their location,” concluded Mr Creighan.

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