News: As offices reopen, commuting costs curb employees' enthusiasm over return to office

Employee Engagement

As offices reopen, commuting costs curb employees' enthusiasm over return to office

A survey of 1,000 Australian workers reveals that more than half are not returning to the office due to the rising cost of commuting and close to half of their counterparts around the world say they will do the same.
As offices reopen, commuting costs curb employees' enthusiasm over return to office

They’ve been given the green light to head back to the office, but employees aren’t in a rush to do so given the rising price of fuel. 

Nearly 54% of office workers across Australia plan to stay parked at home to avoid the high costs of commuting and close to half of their counterparts around the world say they will do the same, reveals the results of a OnePoll survey conducted by Citrix Systems, a cloud computing and virtualisation technology company.

By working at home just one day a week, Australians are set to save $394 in public transport costs over a year, according to the Productivity Commission.

“Employees have learned they can engage and be just as productive working from home, and as fuel prices continue to increase, they are questioning whether the benefits of being in the office outweigh the time and money associated with commuting,” said Martin Creighan, managing director, Citrix Australia and New Zealand.

Additionally, of 6,500 workers polled in eight countries the majority in most markets indicated they will work from home more often to reduce the costs of commuting:

  • United States – 57%
  • Australia – 54%
  • Brazil – 54%
  • Mexico – 50%
  • Colombia – 49%
  • Germany – 46%
  • United Kingdom – 45%
  • France – 44%
  • Netherlands – 40%

Nearly seven in 10 Australians (68%) believe their employers should help them offset the costs of travelling to the office when they choose to by either increasing their salaries or providing a fuel allowance, the survey adds.  

This aligns with expectations around the world:

  • Mexico – 87%
  • Brazil – 87%
  • France – 84%
  • Colombia – 84%
  • Germany – 77%
  • United States – 74%
  • Australia – 68% 
  • Netherlands – 65%
  • United Kingdom – 65% 

However, in winter this may change, as 16% of Australians said they would work in the office more often during winter months to reduce the costs of heating their homes if higher prices persist, says the survey. 

The good news is employers that embrace flexible work models, technology and policies can accommodate these changes and keep their people and businesses performing at their best.

“The key to keeping employees engaged and productive lies in creating work-from-anywhere experiences that are seamless, fuel connection and collaboration, and empower people to do their best work, regardless of their location,” Creighan said. 

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Topics: Employee Engagement, #FutureOfWork

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