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Post pandemic Australians are preparing for hybrid work and living

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During the COVID pandemic we had to work and learn from home and embraced video conferencing platforms like Zoom but now new research found that 82 per cent of Australians post-pandemic are prepared to live a hybrid life for working and living.

The study by Zoom shows Australians are quite prepared that everything from work and living to entertainment and health will be a mixture of in-person and video communications.

Australians are among the most enthusiastic nations in the world when it comes to taking on the hybrid life for business with 70 per cent in favour compared to the US (64 per cent) and the UK (65 per cent).

“The way that we connect and work has changed, Aussies are already embracing this new hybrid living and working, so businesses also need to embrace this shift,” says Michael Chetner, Head of Zoom Asia Pacific.

“Hybrid working and flexibility are no longer just perks, but a requirement for any agile business.

“It’s positive to see so many organisations welcoming this change and challenging their limiting beliefs.

“Especially as those who don’t will struggle to complete and retain top talent, and so will ultimately be left behind”.

But despite all this, 62 per cent of Australians are still planning to resume business travel.

The other area of our lives affected by the pandemic was education with students having to connect via a video conferencing platform for their classes.

And this is another area prepared to accept the new hybrid normal.

The research found that 61 per cent plan on utilising hybrid learning options in the future – many of these weren’t previously available or accessible during the pandemic.

Australians also indicated strongly in the study that they want to find the right balance between virtual and in-person events after the pandemic is behind us.

The majority (59 per cent) want the return of exclusively in-person events.

“We know that broadband limitations are a challenge across Australia,” Zoom’s Chetner says.

“Our focus has always been on optimising our limited bandwidth requirements which is why we saw such a broad uptake of the platform over the last year.

“With 79 per cent of Aussies saying that video calling gives everyone the opportunity to participate we need to continue to advocate for equitable access – whether from a technical or social standpoint – so that we can all build forward together.”

Here are some of the Zoom research main findings:

– About two-thirds of those who used video for business want a mix of virtual and in-person business environments in the future, citing better work-life balance and added flexibility.

– While half of those who said they used video for healthcare or telehealth appointments want that option moving forward (especially in the United States), many respondents said they preferred in-person visits because of the doctor-patient connection they provide.

– About half of those who had used video for education during the pandemic plan some combination of in-person and virtual classes going forward. But some countries were more adamant (Germany and the UK) about in-person education than others.

– Although celebrations, worldwide, were high on the list of virtual activities respondents enjoyed during the months of COVID-19, few are keen to continue virtual-only celebrations like birthdays, holidays, and weddings. In fact, in-person was by far the preferred option for this use case.

– A large majority of respondents believed that video communications were valuable for staving off feelings of loneliness and isolation during the pandemic.