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Never mind virus, staff say commute costs are keeping them at home

Business

First it was Covid that prevented workers heading back to the office, now it’s fuel prices, according to a survey.

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A OnePoll survey commissioned by Citrix found that 54 per cent of Australian workers planned to continue working from home and the reason they gave was the high cost of petrol.

The price of petrol had risen to over $2 a litre earlier this year before the Government reduced the excise in the Budget and the global oil price fell. However, the reprieve that created was short-lived and petrol has surged back towards the $1.90 level.

The issue is not just affecting Australia. Similar surveys showed workers in other countries were facing the same problems. In the US, 57 per cent said they would stay at home. In the UK it was 45 per cent, France 44 per cent and Brazil 54 per cent.

The issue has significant implications for building owners and retail outlets who have relied on office workforces.

And it follows a finding by the Productivity Commission that working one day a week from home saved almost $400 a year.

About 70 per cent of those surveyed also believed the employer should offset the cost of the commute by either increasing their salary or providing a fuel allowance.

Citrix’s managing director in Australia and New Zealand, Martin Creighan, said employees had learned during the pandemic that productivity was not affected by people working from home.

“The key to keeping employees engaged and productive lies in creating work-from-anywhere experiences that are seamless, that fuel connection and collaboration and empower people to do their best work regardless of their location,” he said.

 

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