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Date Aussies will be forced back into the office

Enjoy work from home while it lasts, bosses say it will soon come to an end.

Australian workers going to the office and eating lunch.
The days of work from home could be coming to an end. (Source: Getty/AAP)

Work from home has become the new normal for many Aussie workers since the pandemic. But the days of rolling out of bed onto your laptop may soon be history.

Nearly two-thirds of bosses believe workers will return to the office five days a week within the next three years.

The global KPMG survey of 1,325 CEOs, including 50 from Australia, found only a minority believed traditional white-collar roles would remain hybrid or fully remote.

The vast majority of bosses - 89 per cent globally and 75 per cent for Australia - said they would actually reward employees who made the effort to come into the office through benefits like pay rises, promotions, and better projects.

The results may come as a surprise to some, given the Aussie labour market remains tight, with unemployment sitting at a low of 3.7 per cent.

“At an overall level, the market for talent is becoming more accessible, but nowhere close to pre-COVID levels,” KPMG Australia CEO Andrew Yates said.

“With companies trying to attract the same talent, those offering an appealing Employee Value Proposition and culture will succeed.”

A higher proportion of Aussie CEOs also predicted possible job losses, compared to their overseas counterparts, with 22 per cent foreseeing cuts of up to 5 per cent over the next three years, compared with 8 per cent globally.

Workers quit

Nearly 90 per cent of Aussie businesses had now introduced mandatory in-office days, research by recruitment agency Robert Half found.

Four days in the office was the most common requirement (28 per cent), followed by three days (26 per cent) and then five days (19 per cent).

But there have been consequences. Almost a third of the 300 hiring managers said at least one of their employees had quit due to the office mandates.

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