A new survey has found four out of five workers in corporate Australia won’t go back to traditional offices full-time.  

The study, produced by Worktech Academy and Hub Australia, surveyed 500 corporate employees at some of Australia’s largest firms and found only 21% of respondents wanted to return full-time to the traditional office environment. 

About 57% of employees would forego a pay increase or promotion to secure flexibility of work locations in the future, while 53% said they would take a wage sacrifice to have more flexible work hours. 

“Our research shows there are three major reasons why employees still want to visit an office: collaboration with colleagues, access to technology and improved productivity,” WORKTECH Academy Director Jeremy Myerson said. 

“So while commercial landlords fear office leasing demand will shrink in the face of hybrid work, they can be assured there’s still an important role for the office to play and hybrid work is only the beginning of the – what has been dubbed – ‘the future of work’. 

“The time is now for landlords to plan for how workforces will use and access space, not just in this current COVID environment but also a decade down the road – where creating diverse environments to meet the demands for ‘liberated work’ will be essential.” 

The survey found 58% of respondents said they expected to be working across multiple locations in 10 years’ time, including the traditional office, coworking spaces, home and other locations of choice. 

One in five believed the traditional office would be obsolete within the next decade. 

Hub Australia CEO and Founder Brad Krauskopf said work had been permanently unshackled from physical spaces since the pandemic and leaders now needed to consider policies that allowed employees to be the judge of how, when and where they worked best.  

“While the role of the traditional office is not dead, what this report shows, is it’s certainly changed to be part of a broader liberated work eco-system,” Krauskopf said.   

“What this work eco-system will look like is still evolving, as key learnings from the past two years of hybrid work are applied and technology catches up to the new demands of split workforces across virtual and digital environments.  

“We’re seeing the rise of space-as-a-service, including coworking, hub-and-spoke arrangements and suburban work hubs, in addition to remote and work-from-home models.  

Krauskopf said corporate enquiries for Hub Australia sites had spiked by 60% since the beginning of last year.