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Australians adapt to home working

May 19, 2020

A new study from Officeworks has looked at Australians’ behaviours and attitudes towards working and schooling from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study found 41% of respondents were enjoying working from home more than they anticipated, with 48% saying they would like to work from home all or most of the time, post COVID-19 restrictions.

This is despite only 41% of them having a dedicated office or study to work from and many improvising with their workspace furniture – a quarter (27%) not using a desk and 67% without a desk chair – instead, opting to use furniture from other parts of their home.

The research was undertaken in partnership with Empirica Research and surveyed 1,000 Australians from 22 – 30 April who have been working, and in some cases also schooling their children at home, since various government-imposed measures were put in place due to COVID-19.

Officeworks Chief Finance Officer, Michael Howard, said: “The research tells us that many Australians working from home have adapted to this new ‘normal’ as best they can and have found ways to improvise and create a working-from home environment that bests suit their needs and the needs of their family. We know we have an important role to play in supplying products and services that enable them to safely work from home and school from home, but also in keeping thousands of small and medium sized businesses operating during this period.

“As we look forward, with a potential shift to more professionals working from home in the future, we encourage everyone to remember to look at the ergonomic set up of their workspace at home. While improvising is a great short-term solution, we’d encourage those working from the coffee table or kitchen stool to consider alternative options where possible to ensure they’re getting the right levels of comfort and support in their work day, and prevent any avoidable injuries.’’

Of those surveyed, 35% were also home-schooling their children. 59% of parents claim they are feeling anxious about the balance of their work and their kid’s schooling from home, with 64% saying they are doing some of their work at night or early in the morning so they can supervise their children during the day.

More than half (54%) of parents said that they need more activities to entertain their children during the day, with 67% of parents relying on TV as an activity for their children once their schoolwork is done.

‘‘Having lived through it first-hand in my own home, the juggle between schooling your kids and doing your own work is a daily challenge. We have seen parents adapt their lifestyles and routines in ways they never may have considered until now. We have been working hard to ensure that students and teachers across the country have had the required materials to navigate online learning and continue their education – from laptops PCs, tablets and desktop computers through to educational resources, desks and chairs.

“This year has so far been a challenging one for many families and businesses around the country. As life around us continues to look slightly different every week as we adjust to the ‘new normal’, we’ll continue to do everything we can to ensure we safely support our customers and team now and as we emerge from this crisis,” Howard said.

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