What would NZ look like if more people worked from home?
New research, released today by InternetNZ, shows that 51% of New Zealanders who can do their job from home would like to do it more often.
73% of people, who are able to work from home, either do it sometimes or all the time. This is an increase from 66% last year.
Jordan Carter, Chief Executive of InternetNZ, said perhaps this is unsurprising given 2020’s COVID-19 lockdowns.
What is interesting here is the amount of Kiwis who want to do it more — and some of the reasons why they don’t.
The three main reasons preventing people from working from home more often are: having too many meetings necessitating them physically being at work (33%), not having flexible working conditions (25%), and not having a fast enough home Internet (24%).
“A continued increase in these figures could open up a different future for New Zealand,” says Carter.
“If we start to overcome these barriers, and more people start to work from home, it’s interesting to think of what would change for us as a country.
“We could see many benefits such as happier people with a better work life balance, a reduction in carbon, less traffic congestion and perhaps more caregivers getting the opportunity to get back into the workforce.
“While we could see a lot of benefits, there may also be some downsides to more people working from home. We could see an economic disruption of CBDs and a loss of social cohesion and strong relationships.”
There is certainly a balance to be found, says Carter.
“I think that for many people, working from home on certain days, and working hours that suit your lifestyle, could be a better work life balance. But balance is the key word here.
“The Internet has given us great opportunities to be able to explore some of this. And if more employers made an effort to add some flexibility to their organisations, we might be able to explore this.
We should harness the power of the Internet to find the right balance for organisations, individuals, and Aotearoa” says Carter.
Other key findings from the report:
- 31% of New Zealanders — up from 20% last year — are ‘extremely concerned’ that the Internet is a forum for extremist material and hate speech. This is the biggest jump in the data compared to last year.
- The research shows 22% of New Zealanders — up from 14% last year — are ‘extremely concerned’ that the Information of the Internet is misleading or wrong.
- The level of concern around privacy and security has also increased in the last year. 46% of New Zealanders are extremely or very concerned about the security of their personal details.
- 58% have decided not to use an online service due to security and privacy concerns.
- The most significant increases in areas of the Internet New Zealanders are extremely concerned about include:
- children accessing inappropriate content,
- misleading information and online conspiracy theories,
- extremist and hate speech forums.
- Despite concerns, having access to the Internet is more important than ever with over 96% of New Zealand Internet users using it on a daily basis in their home, and seven out of ten Internet users using it daily at work.
- Despite security and trust concerns, 87% of us believe the benefits of the Internet outweigh the negatives.
About the report
Each year InternetNZ commissions market research company Colmar Brunton to survey New Zealanders about their use, benefits, concerns, and fears regarding the Internet. InternetNZ will continue to commission this research each year to demonstrate what people think today, and how their thinking changes over time.