More Aussie workers likely to work from home after COVID

Home office

Nearly one in five workers may continue working from home after COVID restrictions ease, according to new research from CSIRO and NBN Co. This would be a large increase from the one in twenty home-based workers across Australia prior to the pandemic. 

The ‘staying connected’ report, which made use of aggregated data from NBN Co and government demographic statistics, found that cities with longer outbreaks during 2020 and early 2021 had a higher proportion of people continuing to work from home during COVID-free times compared to other locations. 

Working from home was most persistent in Melbourne (28%) and Sydney (27%), both of which experienced the longest periods of lockdown due to pandemic outbreaks. 

A number of occupations were more likely to continue remote working, with the most common professions including:

  • Business and systems analysts and programmers
  • Database and systems analysts and ICT security specialists
  • Arts professionals
  • Media professionals
  • ICT network and support professionals
  • Financial and insurance clerks
  • Information and organisation professionals 
  • Architects, designers, planners and surveyors 
  • ICT managers
  • Sales, marketing and PR professionals

The report found that while managerial positions showed some of the highest working from home levels early in the pandemic, they have returned to the office as restrictions have eased at a greater extent than other professions. 

The research also found an increase in rates of working from home around the fringes of Australia’s biggest cities, suggesting some workers are choosing to relocate further from their offices as they no longer have to commute every day.

An increase in the number of individuals working from home may be one of the factors that has seen NBN services grow in popularity, with the fast speed tier proving the most successful in recent months.

The great resignation - a push for better conditions?

A trend that has increased in popularity since the easing of COVID restrictions, dubbed the ‘Great Resignation’, has seen workers over the world pushing back against pre-COVID work patterns. 

According to Microsoft research, more than 40% of workers globally are considering leaving their jobs this year. In the United States alone, more than 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August according to the US Bureau of Labor. 

As described by the ABC, the Great Resignation has stemmed from the fact that many are unwilling to go back to the 9-to-5 office grind after experiencing working from home during the pandemic, or simply revolting against the idea that our lives should be defined by never-ending treadmills of career aspirations.

In Australia, the trend seems to be delayed due to our extended lockdowns, however data from the people management platform Employment Hero suggests 48% of Australian workers are planning on looking for a new job in the next 12 months. 

Experts have attributed the trend to Aussies understanding the burnout they were experiencing prior to COVID restrictions being in place, and now taking control of their own work-life balance.

The Great Resignation isn’t going unnoticed by employers, either, with global data firm Gartner finding that company boards and senior management now consider the challenge of retaining the workforce to be among their top strategic priorities.

Getting better connections at home

At the end of the day, working from home requires a suitable home office set-up. Among the many home office needs is a good internet connection, which has certainly been top of mind for many Aussies workers in 2021. 

On this front, we analyse some of the best broadband providers and products available, and can get you started in your research.

Head to our broadband hub to find and compare providers in your area, or check out some popular plans below.