Working From Home & Covid-19: Everything You Need To Know

Staying up to date with all the Covid-19 advice and statistics can be overwhelming. Working from home is one aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic that has been brought up on countless occasions. With the new BA.4 and BA.5 variants having a higher infection rate authorities are looking at ways to reduce the spread. This is where working from home comes in.

What Is Being Said And By Who

Working from home should be increasingly implemented to reduce the spread of Covid-19. That’s the advice echoed by Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly, State Health Ministers, and leading pandemic advisors around the country as the virus begins to pick up the intensity again. Kelly provided an update on the Covid-19 situation on July 19 where he stated:

“Employers should review their occupational health and safety risks and mitigations, and their business continuity plans. They should consider the feasibility of some employees working from home, wearing masks in the workplace and supporting employees to take leave when sick”.

These recommendations are based on what the authorities know to reduce the spread of the virus or protect those at high risk. They come as the high rate of hospitalisations is expected to rise further. On the day the advice was released, 9 News suggested that almost 5200 Australians had been hospitalised.

Kelly provided further information on ABC radio where he suggested that working from home was a “very key component of stopping what we call macro spreading”.

Given the firm stance the government has on the matter, we have decided to look into the Covid-19 trends associated with working from home and look at how effective it is at reducing the spread.

How Does Working From Home Reduce The Spread of Covid-19

Working from home helps to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in an effortless way: reducing the contact that people have with one another during work hours. Remote working cuts out the chance of catching Covid-19 or any other virus in the environment you spend most of your day in. You don’t have someone coughing on the desk next to you when you’re working from the comfort of your own home. Working from home will not only reduce the spread of the virus but also prevent lost productivity through isolation.

Working from home works to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by allowing symptomatic workers to continue to work while isolating away. Sick leave only last so long, and when it does run out many people can’t afford to stay home and isolate. People are going to work with symptoms in order to earn money to live, even if they are sick and potentially spreading the virus. Flexible work allows these people who are experiencing symptoms and potentially spreading the virus to continue to work while isolated.

Working From Home And Covid-19 Trends

Data by the Australian Burau of Statistics show that the amount of people working from home has been steadily increasing since 1995. This is no surprise given technological advances have allowed for more flexible working arrangements. Technology such as laptops and video calls combined with a more globalised economy has reduced the need for people to be in the office. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has led to an even greater increase in those working from home. Data collected revealed that 2021 had the highest amount of people working from home in Australia at 41%. This is quite a significant jump from previous years, jumping from approximately 30%.

How many people working from home Australia

While this increase may be viewed as skewed data given the circumstances of the virus, the change in arrangements has been positive. The latest Taking The Pulse Of The Nation survey highlighted that the majority of those that were forced to work from home during the pandemic would like to continue to do so. Up to 70% of respondents stated that they would like to continue to do so in the future. This demonstrates that while people may not have chosen to work from home, the outcome was considered positive. Furthermore, this has led to more people being exposed to and open to flexible working arrangements.

The increase in working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic has also made it easier for parents to seek flexible working arrangements for childcare. A new study looked at working arrangements for parents during the pandemic. It found that 58% of mothers incorporated flexible working hours and 52% incorporated working from home. On the other hand, 38% of fathers incorporated flexible work hours, and 36% incorporated working from home. These statistics demonstrate how working from home has allowed parents to care for children when arrangements such as childcare are unavailable. Going forward, this form of flexible work could be incorporated by parents that don’t normally have the luxury of childcare and have to arrange work around their children.

Conclusion

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has led to more and more people being exposed to working from home and remote work. This type of work can help prevent the spread of the virus and also allow people to continue to make a living while isolated.

If you’re someone that is working a job that doesn’t offer the chance to do this, apply for a job here.