Work has been permanently unshackled from the traditional office – report

by Mina Martin25 Mar 2022

New research that surveyed 500 employees from corporate Australia’s largest firms found that four out of five workers will never go back to full-time work in a traditional office as work permanently becomes unshackled from physical spaces.

Some 57% of employees said they were willing to forego a pay increase or promotion to secure work flexibility in the future, while 53% would even take a wage cut to have more flexible work hours, according to the Liberated Work report, published by workplace researchers, WORKTECH Academy, and flexible workspace provider, Hub Australia.

Findings also showed that only 21% of employees saw themselves returning full-time to the traditional office environment, and 58% expected to be working across multiple locations in 10 years’ time, including the traditional office, coworking spaces, home, and other locations of choice. Meanwhile, 19% believed the traditional office will be obsolete within the next decade.

Jeremy Myerson, director of WORKTECH Academy, noted three major reasons why employees still want to visit an office – collaboration with colleagues, access to technology, and improved productivity.

“So while commercial landlords fear office leasing demand will shrink in the face of hybrid work, they can be assured there’s still an important role for the office to play and hybrid work is only the beginning of what has been dubbed ‘the future of work,’” Myerson said. “The time is now for landlords to plan for how workforces will use and access space, not just in this current COVID environment but also a decade down the road – where creating diverse environments to meet the demands for ‘liberated work’ will be essential.”

Brad Krauskopf, Hub Australia CEO and founder said that “work has been permanently unshackled from physical spaces since the pandemic.”

“Leaders now must consider policies that allow employees to be the judge of how, when, and where they work best,” Krauskopf said. “While the role of the traditional office is not dead, what this report shows is it’s certainly changed to be part of a broader liberated work ecosystem… We’re seeing the rise of space-as-a-service, including coworking, hub-and-spoke arrangements, and suburban work hubs, in addition to remote and work-from-home models… Providing workspaces that are hospitality-centric, offer advanced future-proofed technology while supporting health and wellness are essential to meeting demands of the modern worker.”

The Liberated Work report is available here.