Most Victorians working from home since lockdown: new data

9 September 2020
White-collar workers worked from home at a higher rate than other occupations
Almost 60 percent of the days worked by Victorians were done from home in the first week of September, according to preliminary survey findings by the Institute of Transport & Logistics Studies at the University of Sydney.

New South Wales and Tasmania had the second and third highest proportion of people working from home this month, at 40 percent and 38 percent respectively.

Woman working from laptop in kitchen

The data was collated by the University of Sydney Business School’s Institute of Transport & Logistics Studies (ITLS), based on a national sample of over 1,000 respondents in the first week of September, as part of an ongoing data monitoring project.

Founding Director of ITLS, Professor David Hensher, said: “Our survey findings have  profound implications for road investment linked to congestion if working from home continues to some extent post-COVID-19.

“It shows how the widespread adoption of flexible work arrangements can be a solution to congestion, even allowing for some commuters to switch from public transport to their private cars.”

How Australian states compare on WFH

In Queensland 27 percent of the days worked were done from home this month while an average of 26 percent of days were worked at home in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

Survey co-author Associate Professor Matthew Beck said: “Since the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Victoria started rising again in late June and the State went into lockdown, we’re seeing many more people working from home.

“Meanwhile, the proportion of people working from home in other states has started to stabilise as their daily case numbers steadied. If working from home continues to deliver positive results, we can expect to see a much greater adoption post-COVID-19.”

Map of Australia showing the percentage of work from home by state.

State breakdown of the percentage of all work that is working from home according to the ITLS September 2020 survey.

The research team conducted the first round of the survey in early April and the second phase from late May to June.

WFH easier for white-collar workers

On average, around 40 percent of days worked by managers and professionals were completed at home compared to only 9 percent of labourers and 16 percent of technicians and tradespeople.

Associate Professor Matthew Beck explained, “We know not all jobs can be done from home. Our research shows work from home is a better option for those in an office environment such as managers, professionals and clerical or administration staff, and has been widely adopted.”

Further rounds of the survey will be progressively released in the coming months.

Declaration: The researchers completed this project with funding from the University of Sydney Business School.

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