Home Property Australia Nine in 10 Aussies keen to return to office, but they have demands

Nine in 10 Aussies keen to return to office, but they have demands

  • March 07, 2023
  • by Property Australia

While remote work is expected to continue, it won’t be the primary preference for the majority of Australian workers in 2023, according to the latest research from MRI Software in Australia.

The 2023 Australian Edition of MRI’s Voice of the Employee report shows that just 11 per cent of Australians want to work from home full-time this year, provided they can reach their workplace within 30 minutes and have access to hotel-like amenities around the clock.

The survey of more than 6,000 workers includes just over 2,000 responses in Australia, and similar response levels in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Based on the survey results, approximately two-thirds of employees (including 30 per cent of Australian participants) desire hotel-like conveniences, such as spaces for socialising, modern infrastructure, round-the-clock building access, on-site security measures and staff, outdoor green areas, on-site cafes, air conditioning, WiFi, and parking (each preferred by 44 per cent of Australian respondents).

Moreover, 91 per cent of Australians take into account the availability of amenities when selecting a workplace, with 11 per cent considering it a deal-breaker.

About 43 per cent of Australians place free parking among their top three priorities, which is just behind air-conditioning and high-speed network connectivity.

Nearly half of Australians (46 per cent) prefer a maximum commute time of 30 minutes to reach their workplace. While 15 per cent prefer a commute of no more than 15-minute walk to work.

On-site café or restaurant amenities are now a significant consideration for 29 per cent of Australians, which is consistent with their UK counterparts but slightly higher than their American counterparts.

MRI Software used an example close to home to indicate new worker preferences.

The group moved its Asia Pacific headquarters from Sydney’s north shore to a CBD location on George Street early last year after commute times became a significant resistance for employees returning to office-based work post-pandemic.

Dean Carpenter, Asia Pacific Vice President Operations & Talent for MRI Software in Sydney (pictured above) said they have seen occupancy rates increase from an average of 20 per cent to 90 per cent on peak days.

“Looking through MRI’s new workplace report for Australia, it’s validating that we ticked all the boxes on what the survey indicates will attract and retain staff,” he said.

“We provide a central kitchen with espresso coffee machines, snacks and lunch on certain days.

“We use our own MRI OnLocation and MRI ManhattanONE technologies for easy digital check-in and bookable hotdesks or meeting rooms. We shaved an average 15 minutes from every employee’s commute time. Public transport is now within minutes of the office.

“Lockdown taught most business leaders and managers that people can be productive working from home. That remains true today. Our equally true experience is that coming together in the built environment with attractive facilities also unlocks team effectiveness, growth and collaboration that is less achievable working exclusively from home.

“This research indicates people might be latching onto that discovery for themselves. Perhaps the old mantra of “build it and they will come” is right for the modern workplace,” Mr Carpenter said.