Despite the flexibility, the comfort and the ease of working from home, Australians are ready to be lured back into the office – and we’ve discovered what will get them there.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 and the introduction of lockdown laws means many Australians have been required to work from home, challenging business’s perceptions that employment has to be restricted to the centralised hub of an office.

Even though COVID-19 cases are now becoming fewer and restrictions are easing in most major cities around Australia, nearly a third (31.1 per cent) of employees are still alternating between home and office to get the job done.

Although most of us have experienced a burnout of working till all hours of the night to prove our productivity, a survey conducted by Hunter and Bligh has found that 91 per cent of Australians admit that they enjoy working from their humble abode.

91 per cent of Australians enjoy working from home.

So as Australia heads back towards its pre-COVID ways and offices reopen, employers face the question of how to convince employees to return to their desks, and it seems the greatest lure of all is good, old-fashioned cash.

In-the-office pay rise or working in your PJs? Despite eliminating the time and cost of traveling to work, almost three-quarters (72.3 per cent) of Aussies say they would work in the office full-time if it meant that they were to receive a pay rise for doing so.

And despite ‘working from home guilt’, the burnouts, the procrastination and the lack of team morale and communication, more than three quarters of Australians (76.7 per cent) say they would prefer to have the flexibility to decide whether or not they’d like to work from home or be in the office.

70 per cent of Victorians would opt for a pay increase to work from the office full time.

Even though Victorians have had to endure four lockdowns and harsh state-wide restrictions including regularly working from home in the past year, 70 per cent say they would opt for a pay increase in return for working in the office full-time, if COVID-19 restrictions allowed.

Meanwhile, in Australia’s north, more than eight in 10 (82.7 per cent) Northern Territorians would also opt for a pay rise to work in the office – potentially an attractive option given the Territory has recorded only 173 COVID-19 cases in the past year.*

Interestingly, of all age groups the most eager of the bunch to take the money to go back to the office is Generation Z. The Hunter and Bligh survey shows that fewer than one in 10 (9.4 per cent) wish to work from home full time if they have the option, suggesting that an overwhelming 90.6 per cent of Generation Z are willing to go back into the office if it means that they are offered a pay rise.

Data received by Hunter and Bligh and conducted by CoreData Research, a global specialist financial services research and strategy consultancy. The survey was conducted in May 2021 and received results from 1069 Australians.
Feature image: Photographed by pixelshot. Image supplied via Canva.
*Data obtained from the Australian Government Department of Health website.