Citrix has today released a report in collaboration with research institute OnePoll which reveals that 78% of Australian office workers believe remote working is likely to become a new normal once the country emerges from the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey quizzed 1,000 office-working Australians, as well as participants in France, Germany, Italy and the UK, and was completed between 23 and 26 March.
The survey found that Australian workers see the greatest advantage of working from home in the fact that they can make use of the time they would otherwise spend commuting.
Almost half (49%) said they use this time to be more productive while another 38% claimed that they use it to spend more time with their family and/or on leisure activities.
36% of office workers also reported the removal of the office commute has also resulted in less stress during the work day, with the lack of traffic jams and overcrowded or delayed trains.
Productivity seems not to have taken much of a hit, with 43% of Australian respondents reporting they work about the same time at home as in the office.
38% say they work longer hours, while 19% work less. However, a huge 70% think that their productivity at home is the same or even higher at home than in the office.
Those who have a dedicated workspace, like an office or spare room, to do business seemed to benefit from higher productivity: 51% cited a separate workspace as being an important factor in their productivity.
31% cited having opportunities to interact with colleagues as being important in their productivity, indicating the significance to employers of providing employees with modern technologies and thus promote communication.
25% of those surveyed see such technologies as a prerequisite for greater productivity.
However, the report indicates that the technical infrastructure of many companies is not yet equipped for the increasing number of employees working remotely or from home.
More than half (51%) of those surveyed stated that they use apps for business purposes that they otherwise only use privately – such as WhatsApp or similar data exchange services.
However, some applications like this do not meet the security standards required for business-critical data, lending credence to the argument that organisations should be prioritising security as workers operate remotely.
"As employers, we have to provide our employees with the necessary technological equipment at their home desk or kitchen table," says Citrix managing director and area vice president of ANZ Keith Buckley.
"I am convinced that working from home will become an integral part of the Australian work culture in the future, instead of being an individual solution, as it has recently been the case in many industries and companies.
“And the current situation shows an appetite, and proven success, for more flexible working from home arrangements.