The truth about working from home in Queensland

 

 

Queenslanders want a mix of working from home and the office, The Courier-Mail's Your Say sentiment survey has found.

According to the survey - the biggest of its kind in Queensland - 42.5 per cent wanted a mix of office and home compared to 21.5 per cent just home and 18.6 per cent keen to get back into the office full-time.

Across the state, 17.3 per cent of respondents have been left out of the WFH phenomenon, saying their jobs couldn't be done from home, higher in the regions - Far North (25 per cent), Southwest (24.4 per cent), Central (23.6 per cent) and North Queensland (22.7 per cent).

Businesses say while employees were working hard from home, companies were still missing out.

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Customer service officer Ellie Miranda, 22, says working from home has given her a better life-work balance. It’s also allowed her to spend more time with her dog Romeo. Picture: Liam Kidston.
Customer service officer Ellie Miranda, 22, says working from home has given her a better life-work balance. It’s also allowed her to spend more time with her dog Romeo. Picture: Liam Kidston.

 

 

Property Council Queensland boss Chris Mountford said there was a difference between personal productivity and business productivity, with the lack of office interaction costing some businesses big.

"As an individual, you might feel more productive working from home because you haven't had to get public transport in and out of work, saved the hour commute, you don't have to get dressed and ready for work," Mr Mountford said.

"You feel productive because you've been doing work all day and you've been churning stuff out and that's visible and deliverable.

"So it's not that people are taking the piss.

"But that's different to business productivity.

"What's the creativity that comes from having your people together? How does your corporate culture drive people to want to achieve more and do more?

"What are the business development opportunities that come up by people just having incidental interaction with people in an office or in the foyer of your building, bumping into people as they walk down the street.

Property Council executive director Chris Mountford says the loss of office interaction that comes with working from home was costing some businesses big. Picture: Jono Searle.
Property Council executive director Chris Mountford says the loss of office interaction that comes with working from home was costing some businesses big. Picture: Jono Searle.

"We're seeing two different groups. People saying we need to get our people back into the office because we're not feeling that business productivity the way we used to and we're not seeing it come through. We know people are working, we can see that, but it's that next layer that's missing.

"And then there's other people who are clearly saying 'we think we are as productive working from home and we're quite happy for people to stay at home. for the foreseeable future'."

The Property Council have called for a period of free public transport to encourage more workers back into offices and get the CBD moving.

While 31 per cent of respondents said they didn't catch public transport, 20 per cent said they had no complaints.

The biggest gripe was it cost too much (14.6 per cent).

A State Government spokesperson said work from home was another way businesses were finding to "build back better".

"Aside from the once-in-a-century pandemic, Queensland is relatively used to natural disasters," they said.

"After each one we don't just replace what we lose, we build back better.

"And so it is with the pandemic. We are manufacturing more in Queensland, no longer relying on foreign supply chains for our PPE, for example.

"Work from home is another way workplaces are finding it best for them to operate and build back better ways of doing business."

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For Ellie Miranda, 22, working out of her Windsor home during COVID-19 has helped her establish a better work-life balance.

The customer service officer said she enjoys working from home because she is more productive and can keep a close eye on her dog, Romeo.

"You also save a lot of travel time; there's less driving around and so I get to spend more time with my dogs," she said. Ellie

Ms Miranda said it was important for her to establish a good daily routine when working from home.

"I've only nailed my routine in the last two weeks … I wake up, go to pilates, drive home, work from home and then I have so much time left when I finish at 4pm," she said.

"I find I'm more productive and there is a very good work-life balance."

She said she likes the idea of a blended week of working from home as well as the office, but will miss wearing her pyjamas when working from the office.

"As much as I love working from home it can get pretty lonely sometimes and I definitely miss the banter with my co-workers," she said.

"I really like the plan (work) has set up to do a mixture of working from home and working from the office each week."

 

 

Originally published as The truth about working from home in Queensland


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