WP Engine Report: How Has The Digital World Affected Our Careers?

Emeric Brard
on 22 September 2021

Almost all aspects of our lives involve the digital in one way or another. The majority of us carry smartphones everywhere we go, we use laptops and computers to work and study, we watch television or Netflix on all sorts of devices. We use technology for our leisure time and for professional uses, but just how much has the digital affected our careers, our friendships, and the future?

WP Engine recently surveyed 1000 Australians to see what they had to say.

“More and more Aussies are not only relying on the internet for information but for entertainment and social connection, with 2-in-5 Aussies making a new friend online during the pandemic,” says Mark Randall from WP Engine. “In the next five years, Australians in particular the younger generations, are demanding a more ‘human web’ and expect websites to exhibit emotions and have AI capabilities. They also expect interacting with the internet will happen by voice or movements instead of keyboards and mice in the next five years.”

Here are the top findings from the WP Engine Generation Resilience Report 2021.

The pandemic actually helped kickstart careers

While remote work may seem counterproductive for careers, 51% of Gen Z and 41% of Millennials have been inspired to start their own businesses with half intending to do so online. Gen Z are most interested in retail, entertainment, beauty and wellness, and technology sectors. Millennials’ main focus sector is technology.

Online reputation

3 in 5 Aussies fear that their online actions, for example, posts on social media, may affect their future job prospects. They also feel that their online reputation may also impact their eligibility for loans for their cars and houses – even extending to their dating options.

New friends online

Throughout the pandemic, a lot of our interaction has occurred online. And, of course, we missed the physical encounters and the intimacy that we so often shared with our friends and family, but it turns out that 73% felt even more connected during COVID-19. That said, 63% of Gen Zs claimed their relationships (romantic, work, school, etc.) suffered as a consequence of the pandemic. Interestingly, Baby Boomers noted no such changes to their relationships.

And the most positive – 2 in 5 Aussies made a new friend!

3 days without water, but only 4 hours without the internet?!

It’s true. 44% of Aussies said that they start feeling “uncomfortable” after 4 hours without internet use. For Millennials, it’s even harder. They claim that an hour without the internet is already far too long apart.

Check out the breakdown of the stats in the below infographics:

Digital report

Digital report


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