Thousands of Peninsula residents have found a better work/life balance by working from home during COVID-19 restrictions, with many wanting to continue the practice, says Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch.
Tesch said pre-COVID, thousands of Peninsula residents commuted to either Sydney or Newcastle.
“But a positive from the challenges has been the new working from home takeover,” she said.
Tesch has been conducting a work from home survey throughout the Coast to get an idea of how the community feels about the changes and what can be done to support workers, with 85 per cent saying they would like to continue working from home.
“When you’re commuting, a 9-5 work day can turn into a 12 hour work day very quickly,” she said.
“Since lockdown many of our commuters have started to work from home allowing them to spend more time with their children and family, enjoying the beauty of the Central Coast and supporting our local economy.”
Tesch said the region’s economy loses $113.2M spent on workday lunches and beverages each year and congestion between Sydney and the Central Coast results in $88.1M in lost time.
“Commuters usually shop where they work so working from home will give a much-needed boost to our local businesses who have been working hard throughout COVID,” she said.
“It’s been a win-win for local families and and it is something almost 85% of our respondents would like to keep doing at least a few days a week post-COVID.”
Tesch said 92 per cent of respondents indicated they enjoyed the reduced commuting time, with 61 per cent confirming they were able to maintain a better work/life balance, and almost 80 per cent of respondents indicating they were satisfied with working from home.
She said these results are a clear indication that work from home should stay.
“An overwhelming majority of respondents prefer working from home and, as we emerge from COVID-19, think it is crucial we think about how we can keep this system going,” she said.
“With the rising cost of childcare, working from home a few days a week could even assist in closing the gender gap, allowing parents more flexibility in arranging their children and sharing responsibilities.
“We need to change the culture around work, making sure that people are able to have the flexibility they need to get their work done and live their lives.
“I am collating more evidence to show the positive impact of working from home for regional workers and local economies.
“We have proven it can be done, but now we need to lock in the change.”
To participate in the working from home survey head to: https://www.research.net/r/WorkFromHomeSurvey2020
Media release, Nov 26
Member for Gosford Liesl Tesch