By Georgia Parsonson
It’s been a year since coronavirus turned the world upside down, and for many Australians, it seems ‘Covid Normal’ is here to stay.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), more people are working from home than before the pandemic. Despite the nation’s relatively low number of cases (not to mention the guarantee of a vaccine very shortly), the ABS expects this trend to continue.
The most recent Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, conducted between the 12th and the 21st of February, 2021, indicated that 41% of people presently employed worked from home at least once a week last month, compared to 24% in March 2020.
David Zago, Head of Household Surveys for the ABS, said, “Employed Australians expected work from home arrangements to continue throughout the year.”
He further stated, “In the next six months, 47% of employed Australians expected the amount of work from home to remain the same, 11% expected a decrease and 8% expected an increase.”
Of the Australians surveyed, it was indicated that 17% of women and 11% of men (presently employed) would prefer to increase the amount of work they did from home.
The survey also examined Australia’s current attitudes regarding immunisation against COVID-19.
The results indicated that almost 73% of people said they would receive a COVID-19 vaccine when recommended and available. This is consistent with December 2020’s statistics regarding the matter.
According to Zago, “The factor that most effected the decision to get the COVID-19 vaccine was whether the vaccine had been in use for a long time with no severe side effects (27%).
Recommendations from the Department of Health (23%) or a GP, or other health professional (21%) were also important for making decisions.
In February, the ABS also asked what Australians expected of their household finances throughout the next 12 months.
Zago said the survey results indicated that 70% of Australians expected their finances to remain the same, 18% expected them to improve, and 12% expected them to get worse.
The survey results also showed that over the next 12 months, 49% of Australians expected their household to save money, 23% expected not to, and 27% were uncertain.