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95% more jobs have this work perk thanks to COVID

·2-min read
A young professional works on their laptop in their home.
Jobs offering work from home arrangements have risen 95 per cent. (Source: Getty)

The pandemic has influenced every aspect of our lives, including how we live and work and it seems that some changes are set to stay.

New research has found that online job advertisements offering temporary and permanent work-from-home (WFH) arrangements in Australia increased by 95 per cent from March to December 2021.

The research, carried out by the Purpose Bureau, suggests WFH is here to stay.

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

Purpose Bureau researchers analysed Australian online-hiring activity between 1 March and 31 December 2021 and found there was a huge growth in WFH-friendly offerings.

A man works on the floor of his infants room while the child plays around him.
Working from home allows employees greater flexibility. (Source: Getty)

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.

The top three industries offering WFH arrangements were:

  • Professional services

  • Administrative and support services

  • Information media and telecommunications

Purpose Bureau CEO Nick Kamper said the response to WFH offerings was positive and suggested it was a net benefit for both employers and employees because flexible arrangements were strongly correlated with better workplace cultures. 

“As the WFH debate carries out across workplaces, boardrooms and BBQs, this research shows that WFH arrangements are being now accepted as a vital part of employment offering,” Kamper said.

“While every workplace is different and there’s clearly benefits to in-person work for certain roles, our data suggests businesses need to address the possibility of working from home to stay in the race for top talent.”

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Skills Shortage

This comes as Australian businesses struggle to find workers to fill ongoing shortages.

The combination of the ‘brain drain’ - where skilled workers leave the country to seek opportunities abroad - and then The Great Resignation have left the country facing a major worker shortage.

More than half (52 per cent) of Australia’s business leaders have said it’s more challenging to find qualified employees now than pre-COVID.

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