The Choosi Evolving Workplace Report 2020

The Evolving Workplace – Chapter One

COVID-19 opened a door to a whole new world of working from home, and it’s clear that most of us have enjoyed this quite a bit! Businesses were forced to adapt to new ways of working, and employers had to act quickly to ensure staff had the equipment, technology, and support necessary to keep their organisations running as smoothly as possible—a tough job in our opinion. As we come out on the other side of the pandemic, how are we feeling about our current working arrangements, and what will we want to see from employers moving forward?

In the Evolving Workplace Report we explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on over 1,300 Australian male and female workers aged 18 and above. This research sheds light on what’s important to our workforce and how we’ve adapted—from the role the health crisis has had in gaining a greater appreciation of certain jobs, to how it’s revolutionising the future of the workplace.

An infographic of the Evolving Workplace

Home vs. workplace

Those of us forced to work from home (or alternatively, working both onsite and remotely) are absolutely loving the change (83.3%) and are adapting well (79.8%). Now that we’ve experienced working in two drastically different environments, it’s clear that we don’t want much to change. Close to 1 in 4 (38.3%) of us want an even split between home and our workplace in the post-COVID-19 world—followed by close to 3 in 10 (27.8%) hoping to work mostly from home for the foreseeable future.

Positives outweigh the negatives

Although remote and essential workers reported missing colleague interactions and feeling as though video meetings weren’t as dynamic as traditional face-to-face meetings, the overall majority had strong positive feelings about the new normal.

In fact, the majority of remote and hybrid workers want to maintain flexible working arrangements. When asked what the best things about working from home have been, we cited liking the lack of commute (77.7%) and not having to get ready (59.0%). In addition, we felt our productivity levels increased and we were able to achieve more in our day (40.8%).

It’s not just the change in our daily pace that has made us feel more set up for success. The majority (92.4%) of us owe it to the way our employers handled the crisis. Half (50.3%) of us also feel more loyal to our companies than before the pandemic.

‘Essential’ workers during COVID-19

With little changing for those working in ‘essential’ jobs such as pharmacists and doctors, there has been increased positivity surrounding their respected workplace (36.2%). For the essential workers who’ve been able to experience a bit of both environments, it’s been mainly positive feedback—with participants having adapted well (59.3%).

While we’re all doing our part to ensure Australia remains a place of prosperity and health, there’s something to be said for those on the front lines. Although ‘essential’ workers have expressed a concern for catching COVID-19 onsite (68.5%), the pandemic has provided them with feelings of pride and purpose in being able to provide their service (53.8%). The community has also shown appreciation for their service amidst the pandemic with more than 3 in 5 (64.7%) of those surveyed respecting these jobs more than ever before.

Mental health during COVID-19

Mental health and the need for this topic to be normalised and spoken about is more important than ever before due to the current state of play. This translates into the working world as well. Through the uncertainty that has come with COVID-19, it’s never been more important for us to feel supported emotionally while working both remotely and onsite. We as employees have noticed that our managers and bosses have become more understanding and supportive (43.3%), flexible in expectations and arrangements (59.9%) and more trusting (38.4%) through the pandemic.

A shift in priorities and the importance of upskilling

At a time when so many have lost their jobs, us employed workers are just grateful for being able to keep our jobs over the last few months. The health crisis has helped us evaluate where our priorities lie as well as what we view as valuable in a job.

The shift in mindsets and priorities has resulted in new motivation and need to reskill and upskill. With roles being made redundant and lines being blurred between blue-collar and white-collar jobs, people are seeing the value in learning for the purpose of job security and eventually leading to better work opportunities. In fact, the large majority (92.5%) of us think it’s more important than ever before to have a broad range of skills in order to stay employable.

The Evolving Workplace Report by Choosi shows us that Australian workers are a resilient bunch, and adapting is something we’re pretty good at doing! Stay tuned as we continue to explore the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Australian workforce.