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


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