Focus on working at (or near) home

David (Your Move) Wake

Working at or near home was the topic of the Your Move Forum held this month. We heard from two experts from Curtin University: Caroline Knight of the Centre for Transformative Work Design and Professor Carey Curtis of the School of Design and the Built Environment. Thanks to everyone who joined in and posed questions.

Many of us have been working from home lately. A survey by the ABS found that 46% of people in work were working from home in late April-early May. We asked Your Move workplace champions about their experience. 8 in 10 said they had started working from home in recent months. Almost all said it had been a positive experience for them and they would like to continue working from home at least some of the time.

Caroline is running a study of working from home during the pandemic, involving over 1,300 people. A majority said they were at least as productive or more productive at home than they were before. Factors that stood out as influencing productivity included support from managers and co-workers, planning time and including breaks in the work day. The Centre’s Thrive at Work at Home website provides resources on optimising home-based working. Read about their work from home study here.

Enabling more people to work from home, or nearby, could shorten commutes and activate communities. Carey Curtis and her team investigated where people worked, using 2016 Census data. They found that about 4% of people in work were working at home, another 10% worked in the same suburb and a further 13.5% worked within 5km of their home. Shared work spaces offer a means of supporting more people to work close to where they live; they can include co-working places with communal facilities which have popped up in recent years. Urban planners could be proactive in fostering work options at and nearer home. You can read the working closer to home report here.

For working from home resources for employees and employers, see the Your Move website. How has your workplace managed work from home? Post a story here on your experience.

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James (Your Move)

Thanks for sharing your summary of the forum David. It is impressive that organisations managed to rapidly adapt, to the extent that 46% of employees worked from home. The 80% of YM Champs working from home shows what a leading edge group of innovators Your Movers are!

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