Australia leads the way in hybrid working models

Employers must rethink their practices to adapt to work in the new normal

Australia leads the way in hybrid working models

More Australian employees are searching for hybrid work set-up opportunities compared to other global workers, according to a recent survey. The findings of the Reinventing Work Report, published by Adaptavist, revealed that Australia had the highest percentage of hybrid workers, with 34%, compared to the global average of 29%, including the US, UK, and Canada.

The report also revealed that 50% of Australian workplaces offered hybrid work set-up choices to staff, while such choices were offered by only about 44% of international organisations.

Why do people prefer hybrid work arrangements?

Out of the 3,439 workers surveyed from the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, 40% of Australian workers said they were concerned about the added expenses of going back to an on-site work arrangement.

More importantly, based on the responses of over 500 Australian respondents, domestic “cost of working” factors mainly contributed to the attitude of returning to a physical work arrangement.

A data analysis also suggested that fuel prices, public transportation costs, and road tolls were leading factors why workers prefer hybrid work-home arrangements, Smart Company reported. 

When respondents were asked what could motivate them to return to the office full time, nearly 30% of Australian workers said they wanted reimbursement of their transportation or free parking, followed by 28% voting for free food and beverages.

Continuous work evolution since the pandemic

Employers must come to terms with work changes, as Adaptavist’s head of organizational transformation, John Turley, said that he expects the changes in worker inclination to continue to evolve as the COVID-19 pandemic gradually improves, Smart Company reported.

“Just as employees have grown accustomed to questioning the level of flexibility and freedom their organisation 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, according to the online publication. “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 wellbeing as well as creating value for customers.”

More than 40% of Australian respondents revealed that they suffered anxiety when returning to the office. In comparison, 34% said that the anxiety was due to commute experiences.

Following the survey findings, Adaptavist reminded employers that now is the time to reassess their work culture.

“Check on the wellbeing of your employees regularly, provide opportunities for them to connect with their colleagues, and don’t let them get overwhelmed with unmanageable workloads,” the organization said in its report. “For leaders in 2022, it’s vital to take a proactive approach to wellbeing, engagement, and trust.”

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