Over 50% of our readers want working from home to stay

In a previous edition of 47, we asked our readers to complete a survey about their experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown. Over half of respondents conveyed a desire to work part-time from home in the future. Additional revelations included an overwhelming preference for Zoom over Skype and a general approval of the federal government’s dealing with the pandemic.

Here is our summary, a collation of our favourite, most illuminating responses.

Isolation activities

As COVID-19 reared its teeth, and humanity settled into isolation, patterns of behaviour emerged, many of which were widely explored in the media. People rose to the challenge of baking bread, exercised online, stripped supermarkets of their toilet paper and reestablished social lives dictated by Zoom.

Indeed, over half of respondees enjoyed some Zoom drinks during isolation, and a regrettable third of respondees admitted to hoarding groceries. The ‘other’ responses varied from the concerning: (“drinking lots of wine”), the uplifting: (“daily coffees in the car by the beach”) and the downright weird, with many noting minimal change to their lifestyles.

COVID-19 clichés

Business has been forced to step up and communicate the dramatic changes inflicted on it by COVID-19 and we’ve seen clichés proliferating – we may even be guilty of a few ourselves.

How many times have you heard: “now more than ever”, or the phrase “new normal?”; what about repeated assurances that despite being apart we’re “in this together”?

We asked respondents to grade these from least to most favourite, and found that “unprecedented times” was the least favourite, while “we’re all in this together” continues to resonate, with almost a quarter of respondents calling this their favourite line of the bunch.

Government handling

For a nation fond of criticising its leaders, Australians have been quite pleased with the federal government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Scott Morrison’s approval rating has never been better, showing the highest prolonged numbers for a prime minister since Kevin Rudd’s first term.

Our survey’s results reflect this trend, with almost no negative responses. Overwhelmingly, the answers reflect an awareness of the immense challenge the pandemic caused, and an acknowledgement that the government did what they could under difficult circumstances.

An aspect of the handling that did receive criticism, however, was in the government’s financial assistance initiatives. Respondents criticised JobKeeper’s over-simplicity, citing the blanket payment of $1500 as unjust and failing to account for variable circumstances.

Comedic quarantine

For many, life under isolation got a little manic. We asked respondents for their funniest lockdown moments, and the responses did not disappoint.

There was a shocking admission of being too drunk to remember the period, the discovery of a lot of grey hair, the dying of hair (pink) , … and a heap of embarrassing Zoom moments, one reader was caught in PJs, another was caught rolling a cigarette, and another, stuck in front of an embarrassing background (the details of which were not disclosed).


Videoconferencing may be something that will forever be synonymous with COVID-19. It became an essential workplace tool, and a popular device for broader social interaction. So how did the varied services compare?

Despite some awkward Zoom moments, the platform was overwhelmingly favoured, with over 50% of respondents calling it their favourite video conferencing platform.

Meanwhile, Skype took a hit, with over a third of respondents selecting it as their least favourite platform.

We asked respondents for features that they would like to add/remove to their video conferencing software (take note Skype!).

There was practical criticism: “longer time than 40-minute calls”, “ability to access calls without having to download software”, “easier ways to invite people” and “simpler user instructions”.

And cute/creative suggestions: “virtual hugs”, “bad lighting correction” and “a catwalk through filter… you need to get something without anyone noticing, press the cat walkthrough button and a fake cat completely covers the screen for 2 minutes”.

The post-COVID-19 workplace

With COVID-19 forcing workplaces to alter the way they operate, many are predicting a permanent shift, particularly in the surge of people working from home. This was a shift that many of our respondents may welcome, with over 50% saying they would like to work partly from home in the future.

Those who selected ‘other’ generally did so because they already work from home, or because their jobs dictate that they are unable to. One respondent explained that since COVID-19, they have decided to quit working all together and retire!

Would you like to read more articles like this one? Suggest questions you’d like answered, or a theme for another survey by emailing us at info@peselandcarr.com.au.


Just when I thought I was out, they pull be back in!

I woke up on Saturday with a spring in my paws. It was only two more sleeps until my favourite canine pilates studio could legally open its doors, and only two more days until I could perch at the bar of my local, without having to order overpriced pub food for dogs.

Our Victorian Premier’s subsequent announcement did not deter my plans, but it certainly dampened them. I couldn’t help but find myself requoting one of my favourite movie scenes in my mind over and over again.

Rather than wallowing in self-pity that I was back to only inviting five mates over, I decided to give my cousins a call; the therapy dogs who understand wellbeing certainly more than I (choose) to.

My cousins reassured me that although I would not be rotating between my employee’s desks for lunch leftovers for several weeks, I can still go to the park. And the fact that Barbara will continue to be home more often basically means – more attention for me.

I know that to get my freedoms (and staff snacks) back, I need to be vigilant in following Government guidance. I just hope that everyone else does the same so that we can all greet each other with a hug, and then laugh about the whirlwind that 2020 has been at my local pub, over a cold beer.