Working from Home – Changes in Productivity – Perth

Research output: Book/ReportOther outputpeer-review


Since 2020, there has been considerably more discussion and research around the relationship between WFT and productivity impacts. The 2021 Australian Productivity Commission research paper ‘Working From Home’, noted that the ‘forced experiment’ of WFH will likely continue at higher than pre-pandemic rates. It cited reasons for this being the time and monetary savings as worker no longer commuted, greater flexibility in how work, personal and homelife were arranged, as well as productivity increases and costs savings by firms. It noted that the technology enabling WFH arrangements was in place before the pandemic but not widely encouraged as firms didn’t trust labour to work efficiently. In another report on USA employee attitudes towards WFH, of those who returned to workplace - 57% preferred WFH full time, 83% were the same or more productive at home and 74% felt it was better for mental health. 22% of the companies in the report had reduced their physical office space.

However, much of the research around productivity and WFH has focussed on the impact on work, with limited studies on the broader social and economic benefits of WFH. This report fills this gap by examining the redistribution of time by workers who, by working from home, had reallocated commuting time to other activities. The descriptive component of the report outlines the percentage of time allocated to non-commuting activities and examines these percentages for sub-groups of the data sample. The productivity analysis focuses on, firstly, the total time reallocated to work, as an indicator of increased output, and secondly, the total time reallocated to non-work activities as a measure of productivity gains. The underlying assumption being that commuting time is an unproductive component of work.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPlanning and Transport Research Centre (PATREC)
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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