Teleworking in Australia: Latest Trends and Perceptions

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Teleworking and telecommuting are concepts (and terms) that have been around since the early 1970’s, but have become a recent reality for many as technology and work culture are shifting.  By 2020, through the completion of the National Broadband Network, the government aims to provide greater opportunities for Australians to work remotely, with the aim for 12 percent of all public servants to regularly telecommute.

A recent McCrindle Research survey of over 580 Australians shows that Australians are eager to make significant changes to their working styles, embracing the freedom to work from home or remote of their primary location of work.

Most would stay longer if offered teleworking

80% of those surveyed stated that they would more likely stay longer with an existing employer should that employer provide them with the flexibility of working remotely or from home. Women expressed this in a greater capacity than men, with 82% of women agreeing this to be true for them, compared to 78% of men. The desire for flexible working arrangements was greatest among full-time workers, 86% of whom expressed the potential for increased longevity in their current role should teleworking be made available to them.

Most would take a pay cut for teleworking

Most employees (52% of men and 51% of women) are prepared to forego a percentage of their pay in exchange for greater flexibility in their working arrangements. While a lesser percentage of Baby Boomers showed such a capacity to forego pay, still almost half (46%) of them would be prepared to put a price on flexibility.

28% of Australians would be willing to earn 5% less for significant flexibility, and 14% of Australians would be willing to earn around 10% less to telework. 1 in 16 Australians would even be willing to compromise 20% of their pay – an entire day’s pay on a full-time load – in exchange for the opportunity to work remotely or from home.

Most are more productive working from home

55% of Australians reported being slightly or significantly more productive working from home than in an office environment. Productivity from home increases with age: While only 45% of Gen Ys report being more productive from home, this number rises to 52% for Gen Xs and 61% for the Baby Boomers. The Builder generation, those 68 and older, report the greatest personal productivity in a home-working environment, with 73% of them reporting greater personal productivity.

Australians spend most of their time working in one location

46% of Australians currently spend all of their working time in their primary location of work. 31% spend anywhere up to 20% of their time working from a remote location, 13% spend between 20 and 80% working remotely, and 10% of Australians work remotely more than 80% of their working time.

1 in 5 Australians work in 3 or more locations

While employers have shown a greater degree of flexibility for telecommuting than in the past, 54% of Australians still work from one central office location. However, 25% of Australians have a second location from which they conduct at least one hour’s work every week, 12% of Australians have 3 or 4 locations that they are based from, and 10% of Aussie workers work across 5 or more locations every single week.

Most want to do some work from home

When given the choice, 78% Aussies expressed a desire to spend at least a certain amount of their time working from home. Of these, 36% expressed a desire to work mainly in the workplace but partly at home, 24% desired to work half their working time in both places, and 40% expressed that they would like to work mainly at home and partly at home.

81% of those employed on a part-time basis showed a desire to work at home at some capacity, compared to only 70% of those who are employed full-time.

More popular and productive for introverts

The benefit of teleworking for introverts is greater than for extroverts. Introverts are 30% more productive working from home than extroverts. If given the choice, over a third of introverts (34%) would choose to work mainly at home and only partly in the workplace, whereas only 1 in 5 extroverts (22%) would choose the same. Conversely, extroverts are 32% more likely than introverts to want to work mainly in the workplace and only partly at home.

But gathering centrally is still essential

In terms of culture and output, the majority of Australians value the group collective, stating that in order to promote the best team outcomes, times for gathering and brainstorming as well as the capacity to work with varying degrees of flexibility is key. Only 18% of Australians feel that collective productivity is greatest when everyone is working in one place with no teleworking options. Over two thirds of Aussies (68%) stated that the culture and output of a workplace is best when everyone is working in one place with a degree of flexibility for teleworking, or when there is a time for gathering and working together but also a significant time for working remotely. Only 1 in 10 Australians would say that productivity is best when workers largely work independently with occasional gathering, and very few Australians (4%) report seeing no need for workers to gather in order to achieve maximum output or develop cultural cohesion.

About this Study: This research was conducted by McCrindle Research in May 2013 based on a nationwide study of 586 respondents.

Click here for the full report:

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


meals volunteers world youth day future wolloomooloo staff challenge focus group World Water Day eliane Births Education Future Forum socialites women property Australians house prices young people The ABC of XYZ anzac professional speaker sector wide future proofing program tips tableau social enquiry forum networking poker master data visualisation ABS Tuesday Trend know the times culture baby name parenting government urban social commentary media release residents year 7 apartment buildings leadership Aussie social life data analyst rental stress Christchurch snapshot Merry Christmas learning styles priorities conference speaker hopes states social research FPA population growth group 1975 Australian Families financial future university financial dreams generation Z small business unemployment darwin housing growth keynote environment lalor park food results income entrepreneurs of today 2014 infographic Australian Census HSC Channel 7 population map skills social media optus my business awards work mates trend tuesday ACF 2016 2013 cars millenials shbc internship going out sydney event woolworths 10 years language winter teleworking South Australia Canberra demographic living city post rationalism employment renter of the future New South Wales online non profit goal gen z social impact mythbusters future proof communications cancelling event millionth children mentor aussie culture online shopping cooking dream lifestyle define housing affordability relational toys resource demographic trends property market royal influence area "know the times" Geoff Brailey moreton bay ethnography annual income tattoos Australian Dream Mark McCrindle REIV Conference TDE retirement Christmas season entrepreneur Tuesday Trends emerging trends award princess charlotte house statistics growth men group session logan home Netflix EFF Kiwi divorce rate stay home royal ACT friends conference presentation brisbane father's day cash easy rider happiness geomapping state baby brand christianity innovative families participants gold coast conference Australian Home increasing densification weather investor Royals new york times Word Up community engagement students housing mccrindle Queensland households futurist newspaper Crime Rates 2017 engagement education rich high density Australian schools social analysis leadership workshop generations politics social researchers potts point alpha innovation clothing overcast celebration safe debate teaching long weekend baby names water survey design Kirsten Brewer cost mccrindle in the media analysis bondi VIC ashley fell event interactive national wealth educhat social growing population Sydney recap organisational culture DIY paying to work year 12 NEETs professional earnings Do It Yourself Aussies click capital city future of work communities high density apartments media activity public holiday prince george sector publication panel wellbeing equip study australian communities trends report debt marketing communicate not for profit news ease of travel parents social lives narcissism marriages cold demographer baby name trends collaborative Northern Beaches Christian School capital cities townhouses product January 26th Research Executive sunburnt country ideas forecasting crime mortgage curiosity urban taskforce rent kate middleton transport February 16 sustainable 2012 list home owner finance generation education future report weekly earnings Generation X Assistant Store Manager 2020 PSI wages schools students rain religion jobs hills shire emerging generations grandparents trends Engineering Manager NSW national crime rates Scouts australian social research builders Charlotte communication affordability outsourcing Northern Beaches brands work-life school student litter tea focus groups keynote speaker tertiary education hobart youth royal baby financial independence Gen Y DESTEL IT Specialists high density living teach mover and shaker house price sun shopper's pick experience australian communities forum mining boom presentation speakers coffee 1980 property price holiday workforce census daily telegraph Australian Bureau of Statistics twentyseventeen video proactive rise of local wedding sydneycity Wagga Wagga vegetarian WA millennials economy future of education customer workshop life wealth 40 million holidays manly baby name predictions Real Estate internships housing market greatness rule keeper thought leadership youth unemployment megatrends jobs of the future Northern beaches Event marriage research data google for education suburban living ipswich rising house prices Hornsby Shire Council Financial Planning Association authenticity not-for-profit Real Estate Institute of Victoria JOMO researcher crows nest global faux-cilise average aussie cartodb cost of living goals consumerism suburbs mccrindle tea population domestic digital gen alpha research pack trends of 2016 urban living demographic transformations plans trend church unaffordable sydney speaker Christmas lunch global generations workplace culture social researcher Australia Day education future optus social change New Zealand waverton thrive events family wealth distribution baby boom Melbourne australia education research entertainment stats quote research services report christmas huffington post in the media work resilience relevant business index australians staying home more educated local salary trends of 2017 world high school 2015 generational trends mobile survey Myth personalities public speaking society workplace young australians Valentine’s Day Gen X moderators guide marrickville professional development Adelaide vegemite pyrmont graphs cultural diversity presentations seasons Wellington case study menai local communities selfie 24,000,000 1968 mother's day community Duchess of Cambridge ageing population real social trends wealth and income distribution school students housing trends data low density poor The Daily Edition dare to dream 23 million environmental scanning Australian communities cancel plans dreaming mccrindle research winter blues Australian demographics faux-ciliser balance neutral bay household slideshare motivate insights repayments owning a home New Zeland google collaboration victoria sydneysiders names schools community event sports shopping easter career nfp Northern Territory research visualisation tuesday land of the middle class Deaths engage SA ashley mckenzie facts business Tasmania Financial Planning Week in depth interviews brand experience social shifts spend investment CBD child care NT training village sunny days Bathburst renting faux-cilising Generation Y home ownership summer market research education sector optimistic perth Territory middle class economic emerging technologies suburb consumer etiquette financial leader entrepreneurial school satisfaction university degree Wodonga Love Financial Planning Association of Australia media mateship employers Channel Seven Social Trend Western Australia divorce 2016 social commentator technology careers hello fresh ultimo Population Clock deloitte tv TAS charity sentiments gender society trends daily commute budget intern typical australian trends analyst offenders baby boomers omnibus cloudy days affordable Christmas presents research global financial crisis royal family hornsby population milestone 24 million personal growth the changing face of national private wealth REIV National Conference monarchy learn qualitative research socialising sector wide study internet dessert couple acf15 generation alpha English Australia Day 2017 cancelling plans wealth and income criminal McCrindle Speakers visualisation Queensland: QLD FOMO staying in learner follow visual fresh eliane miles earn energy demographics fears identity learning Sydney keynote speaker teachers urban living index Caregiver organisations 1994 Australian Communities Trends Res Vis shifts System's Architect mythbusting Australian Trends friendship commute responsive GPO teacher ACF future-proof blaxland media commentary insight change