The employees of Australian health insurer nib Group (nib) will receive a $1,200 allowance each to cover their work from home costs.
Each member of nib’s 1,200-strong workforce will receive the annual work allowance as the insurer introduces a new flexible working arrangement that allows all employees to work from home at least four days a week.
Staff will still be able to come together at local office ‘hubs’ for meetings or social events, but will otherwise work completely remotely.
Nib chief people officer, Martin Adlington, said the distributed working policy reflected the health insurer’s approach to the future of work following the upheaval of the pandemic.
“While nobody celebrates the misery and disruption caused by COVID-19, it has presented a unique opportunity to us to re-think old work practices and design principles and ultimately redefine work at nib,” Adlington said.
“We moved quickly to transition our people to remote working at the start of the pandemic, but since then we’ve spent months planning and consulting with our people to better understand how they like to work and how we can best support them to do this in a safe, effective and productive manner,” he said.
A survey of nib’s workforce showed that 79 per cent of employees agreed that working from home enabled them to do their best work.
“Our policy is a direct reflection of what our people have asked for, providing the flexibility they need to be their best selves at home and at work based on their personal preferences,” Adlington said.
“We also intend to maintain a physical preference, with office ‘hubs’ across our core locations where our people can attend for a designated purpose, like work, training, team meetings or social events.”
Is working from home more expensive?
According to the Productivity Commission around 2.4 million Australians actually save money working from home.
And, with the change to working from home millions of Australians actually saved close to $400 by avoiding long commutes.
“Avoiding the commute can therefore substantially benefit workers — survey evidence suggests that many workers consider it to be the most beneficial aspect of working from home,” the Productivity Commission stated.
“Saving on the commute enables workers to undertake other activities — such as extra work, time with family, and caring and domestic tasks,” the researchers added.