Working from home has never been more accessible, so why are we choosing to continue our daily trek into the office? We recently undertook a survey to explore what’s keeping the Australian workforce tied to their office desk and discouraging them from working at home.
The simple answer is fear. Aussie employees are afraid that if their boss and colleagues can’t see them slaving away at their desk, they will assume they’re not being productive. Of those surveyed, 30% worried their manager will think they’re not putting in the hours and 27% are concerned their colleagues will think they’re slouching around in their pyjamas all day.
But employers surveyed recognised that those who work from home demonstrated increased productivity; not possible if they’re curled up on the couch, catching up on daytime TV.
Along with increased productivity, there are many other benefits to working from home, benefits that could change the future landscape of Australia. Kevin Johnson, Managing Director of demography, economics and spatial analysis consultancy Geografia, says “high speed broadband can facilitate telecommuting, and more telecommuting means less need to live close, and commute, to employment hubs.”
So how would this change the Australian landscape? Well, more people working from home would mean less pressure on our road and transport networks and offer more people the opportunity to live further away from the city, which could breathe more life back into many of our rural towns and suburbs. Less demand for housing in metropolitan areas could also reduce housing prices in these areas.
As the rollout of the national broadband network gathers pace, more Aussies can access office-like internet speeds at home. The Australian workplace is changing and the benefits of working at home are plain to see. The technology is in place and the majority of employers are willing to facilitate working at home, so isn’t it time we put aside our fears and negative perceptions and embraced working at home?