Going to an office five days a week could soon be a thing of the past.

11 September 2013 — A survey has suggested that professionals going in to work five days a week will soon be in the minority.

The 2013 Regus Global Economic Indicator found that a third of Australian professionals were working remotely for half the week or more, and 64 per cent of Australian business leaders were managing staff working remotely at least part of the time.

The survey was conducted by Regus, a global company providing virtual offices, flexible office space, meeting rooms and communication technology. It canvassed over 26,000 business managers across 90 countries, including 680 respondents in Australia.

Country head of Regus Australia Jacqueline Lehmann said Australians were catching up to their international peers regarding working remotely.

“While we have some way to go to catch up to the US (47 per cent) and the UK (42 per cent), the research indicates that the days of the Monday to Friday office as home to the majority of professionals are numbered,” she said.

“The trend towards remote working is stronger than ever. The findings of this survey back what we are hearing from business people here in Australia. Trust and freedom play a key role in remote management and, once these are in place, the benefits are clear for all to see: greater productivity, improved staff retention and lower operating costs.”

Key findings in Australia showed:

  • 51 per cent said their superiors considered trust an important issue
  • 44 per cent said they were supervised by a remote manager
  • 38 per cent of companies used formal reporting systems to monitor mobile employee efficiency
  • 45 per cent used video communication between managers and remote employees
  • 35 per cent worked remotely for half the week or more

The research also found that while 61 per cent of Australian respondents working in larger companies reported to a manager who worked remotely, only 35 per cent of those working for smaller businesses had a direct manager not based in the office.

“Here in Australia, Regus finds itself supporting many start-ups and SMEs with flexible workplaces such as business lounges or co-working spaces,” said Ms Lehmann. “It’s not just the big companies that are benefiting from the advantages of a remote workforce – in the future flexible working is something that the millions of Australians working for small businesses can look forward to.”