The recent wave of announcements easing lockdown restrictions got us thinking about returning to our normal working routines (COVID-Safe, of course!). And while some of us are chomping at the bit to get back to the office, it seems many have become accustomed to the bedroom-to-dining-table commute and working in our slippers!
Majority of workers uncertain about office return
As more businesses and workers figure out the advantages of working from home (WFH), an online snap poll by OnDeck found over 60% of employees are in no great hurry to get back to their usual workplace, with 20% going as far as to say they’d prefer not to ever return to an office environment.
Working from home – the good bits
The online poll found escaping the grind of a daily commute was considered the most satisfying aspect of working from home. Several respondents suggested they were saving as many as “two hours of dead travel time” daily by working from a spare bedroom, dining room table or – for the lucky ones – a dedicated study.
Other respondents advised that being able to “prep for dinner while continuing to work” was another advantage of WFH. Also, the ability to spend more time with family and pets were big pluses.
Saving money on daily coffees was regarded as another home office perk, although more than a few highlighted they’ve struggled to perfect the ‘at home’ coffee and miss their regular office coffee shop! For those who haven’t been able to master barista skills, they’ve been making the most of exploring their residential area and discovered new local cafes that they wouldn’t necessarily have ventured to otherwise – we loved to hear that many of you are getting out of home during the working day to support your local businesses!
WFH has also shone a light on the ability of workers to be more efficient and flexible with their working day. Some respondents even suggested the hours saved by reduced travel times have enabled them to work more hours for their employers.
The challenge of the home office
But working from home is not all beer and skittles either. Dealing with the isolation of the home office was cited as one of the least desired aspects of WFH by the survey respondents.
Similarly, less social interaction with work colleagues and friends is an ISO bugbear, while limited access to printers and scanners was proving a practical challenge for some.
The return to work
With more than 60% of respondents against or simply not bothered about returning to the office, the anxiety about COVID-19 remains, along with long daily commutes. One respondent worried about, “the unnecessary commute time, and potentially getting the virus on public transport.
“Also, I’m petrified of sneezing in public and getting the evil eye!”
Notwithstanding the subdued enthusiasm for the return to an office environment, most respondents were looking forward to team lunches, gossiping around the watercooler and face-to-face meetings.
Also, a return to normality was linked to a move back to an office environment. At the same time, one respondent wrote they expected, and hoped for, a “change in office dynamic, with a shift towards a more technological focused work environment.”
Others highlighted the importance of employers following procedures to ensure a “COVID-Safe return to the office”, and diligence by fellow colleagues to adhere to social distancing measures.
Prepared by OnDeck Capital Australia Pty Ltd ABN 28 603 753 215 (“OnDeck”) for general information purposes only. Content is based on responses to an online poll promoted on social media by OnDeck during the period 11 June 2020 – 25 June 2020. Content may belong to or have originated from third parties and OnDeck takes no responsibility for the accuracy, validity, reliability or completeness of any information. You should not rely upon the material or information as a basis for making any business, financial or any other decisions. Loans issued in Australia are subject to the terms of a loan agreement issued by OnDeck. Loans are subject to lender approval. OnDeck® is a Registered Trademark. All rights reserved.