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Half of workers would rather quit than return to the office

Workers crossing the road in Melbourne
Work from home is here to stay, with some workers saying they would consider quitting if forced back into the office full-time. (Source: Getty)

COVID has revolutionised the way we work with more companies adopting flexible working arrangements. And it looks like work from home is here to stay.

According to a new report by Employment Hero, 50 per cent of hybrid and remote workers would consider quitting their job if they were forced back into the office full-time.

Over 30 percent were a definite ‘yes’, while 18 per cent were a ‘maybe’.

“I feel that a return to the office is not necessary,” one person surveyed said.

“After working from home for two years, I realised that I am way more productive and happier working from home.

“There are so many benefits. Less expensive without any commute, better work setup and space, I can make lunches (healthier options), no distractions, better work-life balance, my productivity increased, plus more.”

Millennials were 61 per cent more likely to quit, while 71 per cent of workers aged 55 and over said they would not quit their job if they were told to return to the office.

The vast majority (83 per cent) of workers said they wanted to work remotely at least one day per week.

Again, younger workers were the biggest advocates for remote working with 89 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 91 per cent of 35-44 year olds pushing for at least one day working at home.

WFH offsetting the rising cost of living

Working in the office can bring added expenses with the cost of transport, coffees and lunches adding to already tight household budgets.

So it’s perhaps unsurprising that almost 80 per cent of workers said hybrid and remote work helped to ease cost of living pressures.

Alex Hattingh, chief people officer at Employment Hero, said the ‘writing was on the wall’ for employers who had the option to provide remote working options.

“With the cost of living situation worsening, embracing hybrid and remote work makes sense for a happy and productive team - which all businesses aim to achieve,” Hattingh said.

“The icing on the cake of giving employees the option of flexible work conditions is that they will thrive more from both a mental health and work-life balance perspective.”

That said, the report also found that employees still see value in working in the office. Over 30 per cent of workers said their productivity was better working from the office, while almost 40 per cent said it was better working in a hybrid environment.

Australia facing major skills shortage

It comes as Australia faces a major skills shortage, with nearly a third of all Australian sectors desperate for workers.

A new report by the National Skills Commission, found that the number of occupations struggling to fill positions has nearly doubled over the last year.

Job vacancies increased more than 40 per cent, with the most in-demand workers being registered nurses, software and applications programmers, aged, disability and child carers, and construction managers.

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