Australians lead hybrid work trend post pandemic

More Australian employees are looking for hybrid work opportunities than their international peers, a report has revealed.

Adaptavist published survey findings of its Reinventing Work Report this week that showed Australia had the highest percentage of hybrid workers (34%) compared with those in the US, UK and Canada (with an average of 29%).

Slightly more Australian workplaces were also offering hybrid options to staff (50%) compared with international organizations (with an average of 44%).

For the domestic workforce, as reflected in the responses of more than 500 Australian survey respondents, domestic ‘cost of working’ factors are shaping attitudes about returning to the physical office space.

And more Australians are looking for hybrid work arrangements than their international peers, with 55% of local respondents (compared with the international average of 43%) reporting they were in the office full time despite a preference not to be.

The survey of about 3,500 workers from Australia, Canada, the US and the UK revealed more than 40% of Australian workers were concerned about the additional costs of going back to the office, with a data analysis suggesting the price of fuel, public transport and road tolls were driving a preference for hybrid work home arrangements.

When asked what bosses could do to encourage people back into the office full time, almost 30% of Australian respondents said they wanted reimbursement for commuting costs or free parking. This was followed by 28% voting for free food and beverages.

John Turley, Adaptavist’s head of organizational transformation, said he expected the shift in worker expectations to continue to evolve as the COVID-19 pandemic tailed off.

“Just as employees have grown accustomed to questioning the level of flexibility and freedom their organization provides, they’re now understandably considering the costs associated with heading back to the office, working from home or some combination of the two,” Turley said.

In Australia, more than 40% of respondents said they suffered anxiety about returning to the office, and a further 34% said that anxiety was due to the commute.

“Whether these costs are mental, emotional or financial, employees and employers will need to find a new equilibrium between business as usual and the way people want to work now one that supports well-being as well as creating value for customers,” Turley added.

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