Moving ‘Back To The Office’ Is Not So Popular With Aussie Workforce

By Pamela Connellan
on 20 April 2022

According to the latest Future Forum Pulse global study carried out by the workplace program – Slack – the latest move to ‘Get back to the Office’ on a full-time basis is not proving so popular with the Australian workforce and in fact – Australians are among the most ‘stressed out’ of all employees globally.

Slack is the workplace program which streamlines messages and helps groups of people who are working on projects to stay in touch and the company has formed a dedicated think tank which looks at shaping the future of work – called Future Forum. Its latest Future Forum Pulse global study was released today and we have the major findings here.

Future Forum’s research found the ‘the return to the office’ hasn’t been embraced by Aussie employees too well and the majority of the Aussie workforce are feeling less positive about their work and how it impacts their life.

The outcome of this is that one in five Australian employees are now likely to  look for another job in the next 12 months. IF this happens with Australia’s current record low unemployment rate, companies could find they are little to no replacements available.

The Future Forum Pulse study measures how ‘knowledge workers’ feel about their working lives on a five-point scale (from very poor to very good) across eight dimensions on a scale from -60 (most negative) to +60 (most positive). The research surveyed 10,818 ‘knowledge workers’ in the US, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the UK between January 27 – February 21, 2022.

Here are some of the major findings from the report: 

  • Despite more freedom to get back into the office, the preference to do so full-time is decreasing in favour with Aussie employees (17% compared to 23% in October). At the same time, only 12% of employees want to work remotely full time.The most common working location arrangement for Aussies still is hybrid work (48.9%).
  • Many companies have implemented working location arrangements which reflect the preferences of their employees. However of those people currently working fully in-person, 57% want to work less time in the office.Aussies are feeling less positive about their work and how it impacts their life (since November). In fact, employees here are some of the most stressed compared to other countries in the survey.
    • The sentiment on how employees are feeling around important areas of work is decreasing. That includes work life balance (26.5 to 20.1), belonging (30.3 to 24.1), and stress or anxiety about work (17.4 to 9.6).
  • Aussies want flexibility in when they work more than anywhere else in the world. Only 3.5% of employees want to work pre-set hours everyday (compared to Japan 16%).
    • Many employees want to be able to work their own schedule (37.5%) or have the ability to adjust for things like appointments (35.2%).
    • Those who have flexible working hours show higher employee experience scores than those who do not in areas such as work life balance (26.2 vs 13.7), belonging (29.2 vs 18.8), productivity (31.7 vs 26.7) and overall satisfaction (29.7 vs 18.7).
  • Over the next year, 22.8% of Aussie employees say they’re likely to look for another job (up from 21.1% in October) with factors such as burn out and flexibility playing major roles in their decision
    • Those who currently have schedule flexibility at work are less likely to leave their job (13.7%) than those who don’t (44.3%).
    • This includes flexibility in where we work (allows for remote work (18.7%) vs no policy (23.5%). As well as when we work (no constraints on hours (19.1%) versus pre-set hours (35.6%).
    • 36.4% of employees who feel burnt out are more likely to look for another job compared to 14.4% who don’t.
  • For many women and working mothers, the call to return to the office has only strengthened the desire to retain some degree of location flexibility. 
    • The percentage of women who say they want to work flexibly three days a week or more jumped to 57% this quarter (from 48%), compared to 50% of men (from 40%). 
    • Meanwhile, the number of working mothers who say they want at least some location flexibility rose to an all-time high (89%) since Future Forum began surveying (compared to 81% of working fathers).

About Slack: Slack is the collaboration hub which brings the right people, information, and tools together to get work done. From Fortune 100 companies to corner markets, millions of people around the world use Slack to connect their teams, unify their systems, and drive their business forward. For more information visit here.

For more from Women Love Tech on the future of work, visit here.

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