Exploring Australian sentiment of a post-pandemic workplace.
Personal life vs. work life
For many Australians, the pandemic was a time to re-evaluate and reassess their work and their future. In fact, one in two Australians (49%)1 agreed that their work from home arrangements helped them with deep thinking and reflection. In light of having this time to reflect and re-evaluate, over half of Australian workers (56%) now prioritise their personal life significantly/somewhat more than their work life.
Australians enjoy a better work/life balance when working from home
Over the past two years, Australian workers have invested in their home office and have made it a space that supports their lifestyle. In fact, more than half of Australian workers (54%), believe that working from home has given them a better work/life balance.
With the new flexibilities of working from home, Australian workers also feel they have more time in their day (44%), more freedom (40%) and greater freedom to plan out their day (38%).
Gen Z are less likely than their older counterparts to experience greater work/life balance by working from home (45% cf. 61% Gen Y, 60% Gen X). Gen Y however, are more likely to enjoy the financial benefits of working from home such as saving money on commuting costs compared to their other counterparts (Gen Y 56% cf. Gen X 54%, Gen Z 42%).
Returning to the office will reignite workplaces as social places
While work from home has its benefits, a resulting challenge is the social isolation and employee remoteness from their peers and colleagues.
For many Australians, their workplace is where they experience social connection and fulfilment. Compared to 2019 2 and 2021 3 , Australian workers are likely to experience meaningful connections with their colleagues (83% cf. 88% 2021, 80% 2019) and consider their colleagues to be trusted friends trusted friends (78% cf. 78% 2021, 72% 2019).
In light of prolonged isolation and restrictions, we could see a rise of HOGO – hassle of going out 4. Although almost three in five Australians (58%) 5 are less confident in organising and participating in social gatherings. However, it is positive to see that more than three in five (62%) Australian workers have social interactions with their colleagues during the week outside of work hours, an indication that HOGO has not dampened the role that workplaces play in the social lives of Australian workers.
1 Australia towards 2031, McCrindle, 2021
2 Workplace loneliness, Reventure, 2019
3 Workplace and the future, Mainstreet Insights, 2021
4 Blog: The top trends of 2022, McCrindle, 2022
5 Mainstreet Insights: The soul of Australian cities, 2021