Fast broadband set to overhaul the traditional work-rest-play lifestyle model
The next generation of Aussies may never put in an uninterrupted eight-hour working day, watch a pre-programed TV show or aspire to live in a capital city, according to a new research report by demographer Bernard Salt.
Developed by KPMG Demographics and commissioned by nbn™, the company building Australia’s new broadband network, Towards a super connected Australia provides a unique insight into how cultural change and advancements in technology have helped transformed the ‘Aussie way of life’.
Coining ‘GenNBN’ as Australia’s newest and most connected generation, the report argues the generation of Aussie kids, raised in the digital age with universal access to fast broadband, will re-arrange the traditional work-rest-play lifestyle model to better suit their lifestyle needs.
Author of Towards a Super Connected Australia, Bernard Salt said:
“From our rapid adoption of colour-TV in the 1970s to our love affair with smart devices and social media in the past decade, Australians have always embraced new technologies to help deliver an even better way of life.”
“Our research identifies a new generation likely to emerge in the 2020s – GenNBN – the first generation of young Australians raised to maturity in a supremely connected world powered by universal access to fast broadband.”
“Freed by technology from the dogma of living in the suburbs and working in the city, this new generation will increasingly re-organise when and where work is delivered. Work in the future may be completed in blocks of time spread throughout the day or the week and delivered from the home, a café or even from the beach.”
“The next generation will be even better connected with the global community which will open up new business, trade and cultural opportunities. We may even see a sprout in niche sporting and entertainment options which we have never had access to such as the thrill of Canadian curling or the drama of live heart surgery.”
“This level of super connectedness will help deliver Australians the lifestyle they have always wanted: better connectivity to close the digital divide, enhanced personal relationships and to facilitate the pursuit of new leisure interests.”
nbn announced earlier this month that work to build the broadband network for more than one-third of Australians would be completed or underway within the next two years. The company aims to provide access to fast broadband for all Australians by 2020.
Towards a super connected Australia key research findings:
The making of modern Australia
- We are more connected than ever before with 50 per cent of Australians aged 18-and-over doing 5 or more daily online activities, and with 12 million smartphone users aged 18-and-over1.
- The internet is fast becoming integral to day-to-day activities with 11 million Australians making an e-commerce transaction in 20142.
- GenNBN is likely to use new technology and fast broadband to redefine lifestyle options around global connectivity, the way we work, the way we organise our home and the way we organise leisure once the rollout of Australia’s broadband network is complete.
- In 1947, a flight to London cost around 85 weeks of the average Australian’s wage; this compares with around 1.2 weeks for a 2014 flight.3 This has led to an increase in the number of annual overseas visits from two million a generation ago to eight million today.4
- The nationalities that are the fastest growing in the Australian population are different to the traditional Anglo heritage. Australia’s newest migrants are coming in big numbers from China, India and the Philippines5.
- This non-Anglo-migration trend is likely to continue as Australia becomes more connected globally. With ubiquitous access to fast broadband GenNBN could work for businesses or own new businesses that connect globally-sourced products with local markets or that connect local products with international buyers.
World of work
- Almost half (49 per cent) of employed Australians are ‘digital workers’ which means that they have conducted online work tasks outside their place of work.6
- There has been a profound shift in participation in the Australian workforce by women from 44 per cent in 1978 to 59 per cent in 20157. This has coincided with a structural shift in the nature of work from ‘muscle jobs’ to ‘mind jobs’.
- With work increasingly measured by creative deliverables, GenNBN will most likely complete work in bursts of activity over a 24-hour timeframe rather than in the traditional nine-to-five ‘work day’. It may be that by 2030 large Australian cities will be configured differently with some workers in touch-down office spaces but with others telecommuting from home, from lifestyle retreats, from cafes using HD-video conferencing and collaborative cloud computing services to complete tasks and hold meetings.
Home and household
- There are currently eight million people living outside Australian capital cities. This figure is expected to grow to 10 million in 20308. As more people set up their own small businesses or deliver work over high-speed broadband there could be a move away from big cities to sea-change and tree-change locations.
- The home of the future might well be the central location for us to conduct our work, rest and play. It may have a single communications hub or more likely a series of workspaces where mum, dad and kids connect into their work, school and social networks. The home may evolve into a new style of hotel where household members come and go and interact in much the same way office workers of the future might come and go and collaborate as required.
- The way GenNBN communicate with family and friends will be vastly different in 2030 because of the universality of the internet and the scope to use technology like Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, and other technology yet-to-be-invented to stay connected.
Hobbies and leisure
- GenNBN will turn the old idea of an ‘eight-hour working day’ on its head with leisure, rest and social interaction time taking more prominence than ever before.
- Australia will remain a youthful immigrant nation and especially in comparison with many other developed nations for decades to come. Net overseas migration is projected from 2021 at 240,000 per annum for the foreseeable future.9 Sport, education, skill development, household and family formation as well as access to jobs of the future will remain central to achieving the great Australian lifestyle.
- The Australian interest in sport has expanded from conventional to alternative, often embracing extreme or lifestyle sports such as skateboarding and kitesurfing10. With access to more on-demand content we will watch the programs we want, when we want which may lead to the growth in micro and niche sports such as curling and hurling.
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1 Source: ACMA 2013-2014 Communications report tabled in parliament December 2014
2 Source: ACMA Communications Report 2013-2014 Series; Report 1 Australians’ Digital Lives
3 Source: ABS Catalogue 6302.0 Average Weekly Earnings, Australia Nov 2014, QANTAS and Flight Centre website
4 Source: ABS Catalogue 3401 Overseas Arrivals & Departures, September 2014
5 Source: ABS Catalogue 3105.0.65.001 Australian Historical Population Statistics, 2014 & ABS Catalogue 3412 Migration Australia, 2013-2014
6 Source: ACMA Communications Report 2013-2014 Series; Report 1 Australians’ Digital Lives
7 Source: ABS Catalogue 6202 Labour Force, Australia, Feb 2015
8 Source: ABS Catalogue 3218 Regional Population Growth 2013-14, ABS Catalogue 3222 Population Projections, Australia 2012 to 2101
9 Source: ABS Catalogue 3222 Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101 (series B)
10 Source: CSIRO Futures Consultancy Report to Australian Sports Commission, The Future of Australian Sport Megatrends shaping the sports sector over coming decades, 2013
Notes to editors
- The Towards a super connected Australia report was commissioned by nbn, the company building Australia’s new broadband network, and developed by demographer Bernard Salt on behalf of KPMG during January – April 2015.
- nbn's objective is to ensure that by 2020:
- all homes, businesses and communities across Australia can access fast broadband
- 8 million premises are connected to the nbn network