A projected boom in flexible working could inject an extra $122 billion into the Australian economy by 2030, according to a comprehensive new study.
The research by independent economists, commissioned by Regus, one of the world’s leading global workspace provider, found that 12.4 per cent of all employment in Australia will be associated with flexible workspaces by 2030. That’s 420,000 additional flexible jobs. And lots of flow-on effects.
Damien Sheehan, head of Regus parent company IWG in Australia and New Zealand, says greater levels of flexible working will save businesses money, reduce operating costs and boost productivity – ultimately causing a ripple effect across the economy from core businesses through to supply chains.
“The specific benefits include higher business and personal productivity, lower overheads for office space for companies using flexible workspace and potentially millions of hours saved commuting for Australian workers. All these factors contribute to flexible working’s ‘gross value-add’ to the economy,” Sheehan says.
“The total contribution of flexible workspace and remote working in Australia is set to be a complete total of $231 billion by 2030,” he says.
“A huge factor in this will be the contribution of time saved by individuals. According to an accelerated growth model, which lays out a scenario for uptake of flexible working at a higher-than-current rate, cutting out the commute by working remotely could save Australians 56.5 million hours of time travelled per annum by 2030,” Sheehan adds.
The environment is also set to benefit, he says, with the study revealing flexible working could save 5.9 million of tonnes of carbon emission per year.
The study, which analysed the socio-economic impact of flexible working in 16 countries, shows the increasing significance of flexible working’s contribution to the Australian economy.
“Flexible working adoption is adding value to not only businesses and employees, but societies and the broader economy. The study highlights that the positive spin-off effects for Australia will be vast given the uptake in flexible working practices, allowing people to get more of their time back and businesses to continue to improve productivity through a more engaged workforce.
“It’s very exciting to consider the ways our society can benefit as a result of increased flexible working, especially as the growth projections to 2030 show just how important it will be in the decades to come.
“Businesses must seize the opportunity to become part of this workspace revolution and continue bringing flexible workplace to employees,” Sheehan says.
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