According to a Hays survey of more than 3,000 working professionals, 51 per cent of workers do not want to return to their co-located workplace.
By state, Western Australians were the most confident, with 73 per cent of those who have worked remotely either already back in their co-located workplace or planning to return in the next three months.
Unsurprisingly, at the other end of the spectrum, those in Victoria were the least confident, with just 32 per cent feeling safe and happy to return to their workplace.
Overall, 55 per cent of professionals surveyed said they have worked from home during this crisis.
Hays managing director for Australia and New Zealand Nick Deligiannis said there’s no doubt that COVID-19 has forced a significant upswing in the number of people who have been able to work remotely.
However, he said a new dilemma is emerging for employers whereby staff are afraid to return to their co-located workplace and that, with the virus still in circulation, employers who call their staff back to work may find that their employees are not comfortable returning.
“The potential for new waves of infections is certainly very real; therefore, even employers who have started transitioning staff back to the workplace find that social distancing and therefore flexible working arrangements will likely need to remain in place until more is known about COVID-19,” Mr Deligiannis said.
“Given this, employers need to focus on ensuring managers are equipped with the skills they need to lead a hybrid team.
“It’s also important to make sure employees feel they can work effectively in such a set-up. Communicate regularly, be transparent, offer flexibility and provide ongoing feedback to make hybrid team working a success.”