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Aussies working from home will be ‘replaced’ by robots, CEO says

A crowd of people walk on the street and a woman works from home on her laptop.
The Charter Hall CEO has said Aussies who keep working from home could see their jobs replaced by robots. (Source: Getty)

Aussies who want to keep working from home (WFH) could soon see their job replaced by robots, according to the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the country.

Property investment giant Charter Hall’s CEO David Harrison told the Australian Financial Review Property Summit that Aussies would need to decide “if they want a career or a job”.

“It’s OK when unemployment is 3 per cent, but if we keep having to deal with a lack of productivity and people saying, ‘I want to work from home’, once unemployment rises, I think we will see jobs replaced by robots,” Harrison said.


Harrison added that employers would start to realise the issues with younger workers not having the chance to learn workplace culture.

“It’s a big problem,” he said.

“My view is there will be companies that - because of their business - will go down the automation route anyway. There will be job losses.”

Harrison's thoughts are at odds with what Aussie employees want.

Research from the Purpose Bureau suggested working from home was here to stay.

It found that online job advertisements offering temporary and permanent work-from-home arrangements in Australia increased by 95 per cent from March to December 2021.

While WFH arrangements have been available in some industries for a long time, COVID drove its rise from a ‘nice-to-have’ perk to a crucial offering.

The research also discovered that employers with above-average ratings from online employee reviews were 2.9 times more likely to offer WFH arrangements than firms with below-average reviews.

Additionally, companies that had only been around for the past two or so years were significantly more likely (41 per cent) to offer WFH arrangements, compared to older firms.

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