New research has revealed that avoiding the commute, more time in the day, and better work-life balance were among the most positive aspects of the new working arrangement while at the height of the pandemic, 46 percent of employed Australians were working from home.

On the back of the research, one of Australia’s leading urban planners is calling for more self-sufficient, walkable, and liveable mixed-use and mixed-income neighbourhoods to facilitate working-from-home as a permanent workforce option.

Data from a new survey by urban design firm RobertsDay, of a representative panel of 1000 Australian employees who have been working from home – full-time or part-time – during the pandemic found on average, Australian workers spend 4.5 hours a week commuting to and from their workplace.

The survey also revealed that work-life balance was the second-most enjoyable aspect of working from home for nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of respondents – and a possible reason why many would want to continue working from home more regularly. More than half (57 percent) loved not having to dress for work, while 36 percent of respondents most enjoyed having fewer distractions in their home office environments as it enabled them to be more productive.

In fact, older employees were most likely to enjoy working from home for this reason: 44 percent of over-50s cited they had less distractions and felt more productive when working from home, compared with 28 percent of younger employees (under-30s).

When asked why else they enjoyed working remotely, a third (33 percent) of respondents revealed it was being able to see more of their kids or other family members, 32 percent admitted it was not being micro-managed, and more than a quarter (26 percent) said it was because they had fewer meetings, and were, therefore, more productive.

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