Work from Home
Image – Stock.
  • 17% of women were more likely to want increases in WFH than men (11%)
  • Most Aussies expected the amount of WFH to stay the same over next six months
  • 26% of Aussies had jobs that couldn't work with WFH set up

The Australian Bureau of Statistics today released its survey into the household impacts of COVID-19.

Headlining the survey is the higher percentage of women who wanted work from home, 17% were more likely “to increase their time working from home,”; only 11% of male respondents said they would up the WFH hours.

To state the obvious, the main reason Australians worked from home in February 2021 was due to the pandemic, with employed individuals 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%).”

Many Australians had the benefit of flexible working arrangements, the ABS reporting 44% of people 18 years and over with a job had flexible hours, but concerningly only:

“15% [of Australians 18 years and over with a job] having their agreement [for flexible working] in writing”.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australians principally stayed home due to COVID restrictions, coming in at 12% of respondents, followed by flexible working arrangements (11%), and to catch up on work (6%).

Numbers were particularly skewed to COVID issues in Victoria given the particularly severe and protracted lockdown, 22% was the figure for respondents stating COVID was a reason for WFM in Victoria, only 10% of New South Welshman, and 5% for the remainder of the country.

Persons aged 18 years and over with a job, main reason usually worked from home, by location
Source – Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The survey also asked Australians how they think the next six months will pan out, 47% of employed Australians “expected the amount of work from home to remain the same,” 11% believed there would be a drop in the amount of WFH, 8% thought there would be an increase.

When the question of preferences for WFH was posed, most Australians (42%) wanted the current amount of WFM to stay the same, with more wanting the WFH to increase than decrease – 14% responding they wanted an increase in WFH, 8% desiring a decrease. Nine percent of Australians wanted never wanted to see a home office setup ever again, and 26% had jobs they simply couldn’t conduct from home.

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