Are Australians reluctant to return to the office?

Australia is ‘ahead of the curve’ when it comes to empowering remote workers – but there’s still much to be done

Are Australians reluctant to return to the office?

Australians have been riding the wave of the work-from-home revolution long before the pandemic that the overwhelming majority of employers don’t see a full return to the office until the year 2023.

Compared to the rest of the world (73%), more than nine in 10 Australian companies (92%) have been offering remote work (on a regular basis) as an option. This made the sudden shift to WFH seamless for most workers, data from cloud computing company Nutanix revealed.

Read more: HR Analysis: How to implement a successful WFH model

Business continuity plans enabled workers to thrive in a remote environment. Now, only one per cent of companies see staff returning to the workplace at 100% capacity in 2021, and just two per cent expect to do so by 2022.

Meanwhile, a similar study from enterprise tech firm Barco found most Australians want to test the hybrid work arrangement – 55% hope to keep working remotely for an average of two days a week.

The downside to staying in a WFH setup, however, is the difficulty of team collaboration (40%) along with the absence of face-to-face social interaction with colleagues (37%).

WFH challenges ahead
Australia is “ahead of the curve” when it comes to empowering remote workers, but there’s still much to be done, said Lee Thompson, Nutanix managing director - ANZ.

Read more: Putting the ‘human’ back into HR

Out of this transition, however, new allies have emerged. While HR leaders have been on the frontlines helping staff continue their work, and ensuring they are healthy, safe and productive, CIOs and other tech leaders are on the back end quietly engineering their companies’ digital shift.

“CIOs are now in the driver’s seat to lead transformational change throughout their organisations,” Thompson shared with HRD.

There are still roadblocks ahead, however. Nearly three in five Australians (57%), for example, have had difficulty getting the right IT support for remote work. Meanwhile, almost half struggled with accessing secure apps and data for employees.

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