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Time working at home worth more than money to Aussie workers

30 April 2017

Employees would forgo pay for  flexible working arrangements

Aussies in search of a better work-life balance are turning to the internet to juggle their nine-to-five, with more than half the nation (51 per cent) willing to forgo a percentage of their pay in exchange for flexible working arrangements.

New research released today by nbn from the Telsyte Australian Digital Workplace Study 2017 reveals the majority of Australian organisations (84 per cent) have systems in place that allow their staff to work remotely with more than half of the businesses (56 per cent) that allow their staff to work from home, doing so because it increases employee productivity.

The report shows IT and marketing professionals are leading the movement with almost a quarter (24 per cent) of staff from these roles embracing remote working options, followed by sales representatives (20 per cent) and accountants (18 per cent).

Experts say the growing ‘flexi-work’ movement  is spurred by widespread access to fast broadband powered by services over the nbn™ network, as employees are able to join meetings via video conference, have stable access to their employer’s cloud servers and share large files from home.

Social researcher and generational expert, Claire Madden said:

“Australia is a lifestyle-driven nation and the flexi-working movement, assisted by access to fast broadband, is opening up new opportunities for Australian workers to pursue meaningful careers while also prioritising personal commitments. 

“The highest uptake of the new nine-to-five is expected to fall across millennials who are accustomed to playing, learning and working anywhere, anytime. Millennials attraction to flexi-working schemes is deeply ingrained with practicality at the root; with almost half (45 per cent) reporting they’re more productive working from home. Gen Z will further drive the flexi-work movement as they step into the workforce, being our most technologically literate and connected generation.”

Key insights on the ‘flexi-work’ trend:

  • Professionals leading the flexi-way: IT and marketing professionals are leading the movement with almost a quarter (24 per cent) of staff from these roles embracing remote working options, followed by sales representatives (20 per cent) and accountants (18 per cent). Middle-management and customer service representatives are slower to embrace remote working options (12 per cent and 10 per cent respectively) .
  • Gen Z and the 2020 workforce: This generation is estimated to have more than seventeen jobs across five careers during their working lives, tapping into online channels like YouTube, social media and blogs to generate multiple revenue streams. Unlike their predecessors, Gen Z will value job mobility and flexibility above stability, having grown-up being immersed in the rapidly changing digital technologies, unprecedented social networking and global connectivity. 
  • Flexibility vs. pay: Flexibility trumps pay when it comes to employee values with more than a quarter (28 per cent) of Australians willing to earn 5 per cent less for significant flexibility and one in sixteen happy to forgo 20 per cent of their salary – the equivalent of an entire day’s pay in exchange for being able to work remotely.
  • Flexi-working is shaping employment of the future: The appetite for flexi-working is shared by the majority with the traditional approach of working in an office five days a week preferred by a mere 35 per cent. Work and employment structures will continue to be redefined by the flexi-workforce as employers embrace connectivity and use flexibility to drive productivity and staff retention.


About nbn:

  • nbn is building a new and upgraded, fast wholesale broadband network to enable communities across Australia to access fast broadband from their retail service provider. Our goal is to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.
  • The rollout of the nbn™ access network sets the scene for the biggest transformation to Australia’s telecommunications industry involving retail service provider network upgrades and the establishment of a network of networks to bring fast broadband to all Australians. 
  • Connecting to the nbn™ network is not automatic and is a process which may take some time and preparation. nbn is working with the service providers and industry to help them better understand who is responsible for which portions of their internet experience and what steps they can take in order to receive the best possible service.
  • The speeds experienced on services over the nbn™ network are determined by a range of factors such as the technology used to deliver the network as well as some factors outside our control like equipment quality, software, broadband plans, signal reception and how your service provider designs their network.
  • Fast broadband like that delivered via the nbn™ network can provide a range of benefits for Australians such as opportunities to work from home, access to online education tools and options for on-demand entertainment. 

Media enquiries

Jaye Sellen
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