Working from home – what’s the reality of what’s being offered by employers in 2023?

As the year draws to a close and employers make plans for what 2023 will look like and how their teams will be set up, lets take a look at what’s actually happening in Australia currently in terms of hybrid work in the sector. After the rush to work from home during the Covid 19 pandemic, Australians have settled back in to a “new normal” of hybrid working. But what does that actually mean, is it effective and who is offering what options?

In our experience, the vast majority of our clients in the Banking and Finance space in Australia are offering professional employees the chance to work both from home and from the office. The most common arrangements we see are:

  • Intensive period of training / induction must be face to face, in the office. Typically, around 1 month
  • Most popular hybrid working model is three days in the office, two days working from home
  • The rigidity of these arrangements vary with some employers mandating which days must be face to face and others letting employees choose which days they come in.
  • For highly specialised, hard to find roles, employers who are willing to offer a role as fully remote, there is a much greater chance of finding the right talent. For example, we just assisted a client to find a Treasury professional who will be based interstate, for a Sydney role, who had excellent skills having worked for a competitor. The successful applicant will travel to Sydney monthly for meetings, but will usually work remotely.

What does the research show about whether this will continue in to 2023? A study released in September 2022, by National Bureau of Economic Research on “Working from Home Around the world” included some key statistics on future plans for working from home. In terms of employers, Australian employers were planning on employees having an average of at least one day per week working from home. There is a realisation by most employers that this is the reality of needing to retain talented workers. However, there is also still a mismatch between employee expectation and employer desire, with 2.2 days being the average number of days employees desire to work from home. For talented professionals seeking a new role, the number of days you will work from home might ultimately come down to your ability to negotiate!

So, does working from home work? There’s been much published on the issue. Ultimately it comes down to many factors such as the managers capability in managing remote workers, the nature of the work being completed and of course the worker in the role. The September 2021 Working from home Research paper from the Australian Government Productivity Commission found that most workers highly value the option to work from home and reiterated that they would be willing to take a pay cut in order to do that.

The report states that the key factors employers consider in offering working from home arrangements are:

  • Productivity
  • Management activities and costs
  • Workplace Culture
  • Capital costs
  • Staff attraction and retention

The Covid 19 pandemic forced rapid speed development in the tools that assist us to work effectively from any location. HR departments globally have been putting in place “work from anywhere” policies. Flexible work is no longer the domain of working parents, with workers seeking remote work for a variety of reasons that just suit their lifestyle better. SEEK tells us flexibility is one of the key features job seekers search for……so don’t forget to include your offering in your job ads. Flexibility is here to stay. How does it fit in to your Employee Value Proposition?

Would you like to chat to us about how you can attract flexible workers to your business? Get in touch with us today