Launceston, Oct 25: Fresh research from the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) reveals that hybrid work arrangements are here to stay, with nearly a quarter of Australian organizations anticipating an increase in remote work over the next two years.
At the same time, there has been a notable shift, with 48 percent of employers now mandating their employees to be present in the office for three to five days per week, an increase from 37 percent in 2022.
The survey, which involved 452 HR professionals from Australian organizations, highlights the three most common work arrangements for full-time employees in 2023 as follows:
- Thirty-two percent of respondents favor full-time employees attending the office three days per week.
- Twenty-five percent specify no minimum requirement but strongly ‘encourage’ office attendance.
- Fourteen percent opt for full-time employees to be in the office for two days per week.
In contrast, the preferred arrangement in 2022 was a lack of any minimum requirement, with strong encouragement for office attendance (34 percent).
Key findings from the survey encompass the prevalence of flexible work options, with 97 percent of organizations offering some form of flexibility.
Excluding hybrid working, the most popular flexible arrangements include part-time work (85 percent), flexi-time (53 percent), compressed working hours or weeks (45 percent), and career breaks or secondments (44 percent).
Furthermore, 36 percent of the workforce cannot work from home on average, but two-thirds of organizations provide alternative flexible working options for such employees.
On average, 53 percent of employees regularly work from home, with 14 percent consistently working remotely.
Interestingly, the survey reaffirms the belief that employees who work from home or follow a hybrid work model tend to be more productive, with 43 percent of respondents reporting a positive impact on productivity, compared to just 10 percent who noted a negative effect.
AHRI CEO Sarah McCann-Bartlett suggests that the results underscore the permanence of remote and hybrid work arrangements, which can benefit both employees and employers by providing better work-life balance, higher retention rates, and greater appeal to potential candidates.
However, challenges persist, including issues related to disconnection between colleagues, collaboration, and performance monitoring.
To enhance the success of hybrid and remote work, McCann-Bartlett recommends that employers offer training to line managers on managing a remote or hybrid workforce, as only 34 percent of organizations have provided specific training in this regard.
The survey was conducted by AHRI online between July 9 and August 24, 2023, with responses from 452 HR professionals in Australian organizations. Of the respondents, 271 were from the private sector, 87 from the public sector, and 94 from the not-for-profit sector.
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