Wednesday, 28 October 2020 00:23

Work ‘more enjoyable’, quality of life better working from home during pandemic for some Aussies: survey


A quarter of Australians say working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has made them enjoy work more, with 45% seeing quality of life improvements through the flexibility of working from home, and with women more likely than men to find working from home easier, according to a new study of 2,000 Australians’ digital consumption habits.

The Digital Consumer Trends 2020 study by advisory firm Deloitte looked at digital consumption habits during June and July this year, at the height of COVID-19 lockdown for many.

“The devastating impact of COVID-19, and the resulting lockdown, has undoubtedly acted as a catalyst: speeding up consumers’ digital adoption and introducing new trends at a rate few could have predicted,” says Deloitte Partner and National Telecommunications lead, Peter Corbett.

“During lockdown, digital became our window to the outside world, and each other, as we craved connection. This year’s Digital Consumer Trends survey explores the rise in online shopping, banking, video streaming and device purchases in response to the lockdown.

“As Australian businesses look to define their new normal, understanding the immediate and long-term impact of COVID-19 on digital behaviours is paramount. We believe the extreme events of this pandemic will spawn the digital trends of tomorrow,” Corbett said.

According to Deloitte, digital technology enabling us to work from home (WFH) is improving our perception of our jobs overall.

Delloite points to the survey showing that twice as many respondents (25%) say they now enjoy work more as a result of working from home, compared to those who find it more stressful (12%).

“Whether it’s more time spent with the kids or fitting in a quick surf before the workday starts, 45% of us say greater flexibility to manage our day is improving our lifestyles.

“More than 90% of Australians are benefitting from reduced travel needs, with a third gaining nearly a whole productive day back per week (5.5 hours). It’s leaving more time for life admin and recreational activities.”

Deloitte Consulting Partner, Kate Huggins, said: “Thirty-seven percent of our Australian survey respondents are now working from home – almost five times more than pre-pandemic levels.

“While over half of Australians who work from home have had an almost seamless experience from a technology perspective, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for all respondents – one in five said they lose a productive day a month due to ineffective tech. And without access to the office, technology issues can be hard to remedy.

“Overall, though, most of us are feeling positive about the shift, with more survey respondents finding the experience of working from home easier (41%) than harder (28%) to manage.

“There is one clear trend in the data: female respondents appear to have an easier working from home experience (50%) than their male counterparts (35%). This not only suggests they may be more adept at the art of flexible working but could be more likely to continue working from home after the pandemic too.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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