Is Flexible Working The Future Of The Australian Workforce?

Sneha Khale
on 12 September 2018

There are very few people who wouldn’t rejoice if they were told that they could work remotely from the comfort of their home. It’s human nature to enjoy flexible working conditions; avoiding the tiresome commute, being able to work in pajamas with your dog sitting by your feet keeping them warm – who doesn’t want that, right? Last month, Airbnb (in collaboration with co-working hub Tank Stream Labs) released the findings of their ‘Evolution of Work’ survey, and unsurprisingly, found that 81% of Australians would like to work remotely, while 40% are already doing it at least once a week.

The research survey was conducted by YouGov Galaxy; it surveyed 1,000 Australian workers to understand the changing nature of workplaces and the expectations of modern employees.

According to the research, 65% of employees believe the option for flexible work (which includes the ability to work from home, a cafe, or a shared co-working space when they want, or need to) makes an employer more appealing to work for. That’s interesting because it ranks higher than employee benefits (48%) and the ability to cash in on untaken annual leave (43%).

One of the other major benefits in working from home (according to the survey) is the amount of time people can save on their daily commute:

  • 50% of Aussies said they would use the additional time to spend more quality time with their family.
  • 45% said they would exercise more.
  • 42% would want to focus on their hobbies.
  • 18-24 year olds were the most sleep-deprived, with 60% saying they would spend the time getting more sleep.

Other key findings of the Airbnb study included:

  • When working from home, workers say they would be most likely to work in their home office (62%), in the lounge room (30%) or at the kitchen table (16%). Millennials are more likely to work from bed (22%) or from an outside balcony or verandah (20%).

Given that it was an Airbnb study, it also focused on other aspects of changing work trends. For example, they found that:

  • Employees who travel for work want to feel like they are at home when on the road – 61% of Australians would prefer to stay in an Airbnb, with 49% citing the comforts of a real home as the reason to book an Airbnb.

Airbnb for Work manages to combine all of the above research findings and make it easy for employees to travel and collaborate with their co-workers. Last week, Airbnb announced that it’s expanding Airbnb for Work into three new areas, including:

  • Experiences on Airbnb for team-building exercises.
  • Airbnb Homes for offsites and meetings.
  • Airbnb for relocations.

According to Airbnb, “bleisure” (combining business trips with leisure stays) is also a growing trend. Whichever type of employee category you fall in, you can search for work-ready homes on Airbnb using the ‘Trip type’ filter. These are homes with the essential amenities needed when you’re travelling for work (alone or with your team) or relocating to a new place for work – e.g. a workspace, wifi, and self check-in.

Can working from home (or remotely) become a universally acceptable thing already?

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