Public service managers have had a dramatic change of heart during the coronavirus pandemic.
A study by CQUniversity and UNSW Canberra has found that managers who once opposed flexible work from home arrangements now support it.
CQUniversity’s Associate Professor Linda Colley says the findings indicate a revolutionary change in the way managers think about working from home.
“Our 2018 research found extensive managerial resistance across four state public services,” she said.
“Previously managers expressed concerns about the productivity and underperformance of employees working from home.”
But with so many people forced to work from home during lockdown, the study found that managers overwhelmingly reported increased productivity and performance from remote workers.
“These positive findings suggest the pandemic has broken down negative perceptions in the public sector which traditionally does not have a strong working from home culture,” she said.
New figures indicate that since the pandemic more than half of the country’s public servants now work from home and Associate Professor Colley says it looks like it might stay that way.
“Our current research reveals that nearly two-thirds of managers intend to be more supportive of working from home in the future,” she said.
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