A year of COVID-19 and Australians work from home more

Media Release

Almost a year since the 100th COVID-19 case was recorded in March 2020, Australians are working from home more than they were before the pandemic and they expect this pattern to continue, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Head of Household Surveys, David Zago, said the latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey conducted from 12 – 21 February 2021, showed two in five people with a job (41 per cent) worked from home at least once a week in February 2021, compared with 24 per cent at least once a week before March 2020.

“Employed Australians expected work from home arrangements to continue throughout the year,” Mr Zago said.

“In the next six months, 47 per cent of employed Australians expected the amount of work from home to remain the same, 11 per cent expected a decrease and 8 per cent expected an increase.

“Employed women (17 per cent) were more likely than employed men (11 per cent) to want to increase the amount of work done from home.”

The February survey also followed up on Australian’s attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines.

“Almost three in four people (73 per cent) agreed they would get a COVID-19 vaccine when it became available and was recommended for them, which was similar to December 2020.

“The factor that most affected the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine was whether the vaccine had been in use for a long time with no serious side effects (27 per cent). Recommendations from the Department of Health (23 per cent) or a GP or other health professional (21 per cent) were also important for making decisions.”

In February, the survey also asked Australians about how they expected their household finances to perform in the next 12 months. 

“Seven in 10 Australians (70 per cent) expected their household finances to stay the same, while almost one in five (18 per cent) expected them to improve and one in eight (12 per cent) expected them to worsen.”

Over the next 12 months, almost half of Australians (49 per cent) expected their household to save money, while 23 per cent expect their household will not save any money and 27 per cent did not know.

The ABS would like to thank the Australian households that contributed to these survey results.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
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