IT workers most likely to keep working from home: research

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IT workers most likely to keep working from home: research

IT workers have been revealed as the most likely cohort to remain working from home after pandemic prevention lockdowns restrictions lifted in a new report from CSIRO and NBN Co.

In a list describing ‘Telework persistence by occupation’, the top two jobs listed were ‘business and systems analysts and programmers’ in first place and ‘database and system administrators and ICT security specialists’ in second.

‘ICT network and support professionals’ were in fifth and ‘ICT managers’ in ninth meaning that IT-related jobs accounted for four of the top ten spots in the list.

The research that informed the report used aggregated NBN data and demographic statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to understand how the shift to working from home played out.

The report, titled Staying connected: Working, and socialising, from home during the COVID-19 pandemic (pdf), also showed that working from home was most persistent in Melbourne and Sydney.

The report attributed this to the fact that these were the cities with the most sustained COVID-19 outbreaks showing that “once established, working-from-home is likely to continue for many people for at least part of the week” the report said.

The research also found that city outskirts saw higher rates of working from home, which the report attributes to workers further out of the cities avoiding commutes and suggests people may be relocating further out as a result.

Overall, the report outlined that nearly 20 percent of all Australian will be working from home once all lockdown restrictions are lifted, as opposed to one in twenty prior.

“The COVID 19 pandemic dramatically accelerated long-standing digital transformation trends. Through this report, we sought to examine how this shift to working and socialising online unfolded. In this way, the report provides a snapshot of a unique moment in our history and gives an insight into some of the changes we may see emerge over the next 12 months,” CSIRO Data61 economist Dr Andew Reeson said.

NBN chief data officer Joanna Gurry added, “The ability to work from home has been of vital to Australian workers, employers and governments through the pandemic. While we hope the peak of the COVID-19 crisis will soon be behind us, many changes will persist, with significant implications for how and where we live, work and interact with each other. These insights help us to understand long term trends the pandemic is driving so we can continue to evolve and invest in the network.”

NBN and CSIRO said they have more cooperative projects planned to “improve understanding of the skills, infrastructure and support needed for Australia’s digital transformation.”

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