Study: 69% Of Aussie Workers Aren’t Keen On Returning To The Office

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More than a year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the changes in our daily lives are obvious – in the way we work, the way we live and the way we spend money.

The big question is: Are these changes permanent?

Dynata explored this question in its new report, Global Consumer Trends: New Lives in a New World, with some interesting results.

Sixty-six per cent of Australians believe that their lives will not be the same as before the pandemic, compared to 57 per cent of respondents worldwide.

Thirty-nine per cent of respondents worldwide want to take more care of their health than they did before the pandemic. A lot more Chinese (47 per cent) and Japanese (52 per cent) want to take care of their physical health better post-pandemic.

People are also questioning their jobs, with 34 per cent worldwide thinking about changing roles.

In Australia, 81 per cent of those surveyed assume that working life in the future will be similar to what it is at the moment – the highest amongst all the markets surveyed.

Out of those Aussies who have been working remotely during the pandemic, nearly eight in 10 Gen Xers want to continue this work setting.

The research also found that cash is losing importance in Australia, with 75 per cent wanting to keep contactless payment in the future.

Let’s delve a bit further into the research findings…

Life after the pandemic

Are the changes in job and life sustainable? Well, that is what 57 per cent of the people in the 11 countries surveyed by Dynata think. In Australia, 66 per cent believe that life will never be the same again.

In particular, the sensitive view of one’s own health has increased. Worldwide, 39 per cent of respondents said they would pay more attention to their physical health now than before the pandemic, and 37 per cent want to pay more attention to mental health.

Working after the pandemic

Internationally, 71 per cent of respondents believe that their working day will not be the same as before the pandemic.

Australians have become accustomed to working from home, and not all are looking forward to returning to the office. In fact, 69 per cent of Australian workers who currently work fully or partially remotely have little or no enthusiasm for returning to the office, according to the study.

Image source: iStock/Edwin Tan

Among those with a hybrid model, the figure is 65 per cent. Generation X, in particular, does not want to go back to the office in Australia, with 77 per cent of workers age between 40 and 55 saying they definitely or probably want to continue to work remotely.

Internationally, 41 per cent said they have a better work-life balance than before the pandemic.

While 39 per cent of Australians perceive that they work significantly more hours since the pandemic than before, 67 per cent of respondents feel that mobile working allows them to be more flexible with their working hours.

Dynata found that the pandemic has also made many people think about their jobs and careers.

Globally, 34 per cent are thinking about switching to a different job, and 36 per cent are considering a change in their career. The desire is particularly strong among younger people worldwide.

In Australia, 37 per cent are very interested in changing careers, especially amongst Gen Z and Millennials (at 46 per cent equally).

Forty per cent are thinking about changing their employer, with those aged between 25 and 39 feeling particularly strong about it.


For people in Australia who are planning a trip in the next six months, surprisingly, seven per cent of them are thinking of destinations abroad despite the border closure.

The majority of respondents (88 per cent) intend to travel within the country, and half of those intend to make it a road trip with their own vehicles. The most popular holiday plan is a beach vacation (36 per cent) as we are heading into spring and summer.

Image source: iStock/:molchanovdmitry

Internationally, 40 per cent said the reason for not travelling was fear of catching COVID-19. In Australia, 36 per cent said the same. The bigger deterrent is ‘cannot afford to travel right now’, expressed by almost four in 10 respondents to the Dynata survey.

Even before the recent lockdown, 51 per cent of the surveyed Australians agreed that to feel totally safe returning to ‘normal’ activities, their whole family will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This belief is shared strongly amongst those who have kids at home.

Contactless payment on the rise

In the pandemic, many of us have become accustomed to contactless payments and shopping. Dynata noted that these consumer behaviours seem to be more common in the Asia-Pacific markets that it had surveyed.

Australians (75 per cent) and Japanese (87 per cent) are among the top three countries that want to continue using contactless payments in the future.

Consumers in both China and Japan would like to continue to run errands online, have groceries delivered and shop online more often going forward.

Featured image source: iStock/gorodenkoff

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