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‘Living at work’: Working from home sees unpaid overtime soar

  • November 18 2020
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‘Living at work’: Working from home sees unpaid overtime soar

By Cameron Micallef
November 18 2020

Since shifting from the office to working from home, Australians have seen a substantial rise in unpaid overtime, costing workers almost $100 billion a year, a study has revealed.

Working from home sees unpaid overtime soar

‘Living at work’: Working from home sees unpaid overtime soar

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  • November 18 2020
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Since shifting from the office to working from home, Australians have seen a substantial rise in unpaid overtime, costing workers almost $100 billion a year, a study has revealed.

Working from home sees unpaid overtime soar

Research by The Australian Institute has shown that despite the number of paid hours falling, Australian workers are currently putting in an average of 5.25 hours of unpaid work every week – the equivalent of 7 weeks of full-time work per year.

At the economy-wide level, this equates to $98.6 billion in lost income.

“For many, the reality of working from home is more like living at work,” said Dan Nahum, economist at the Centre for Future Work and author of the report.

“COVID-19 has clearly heightened the challenge facing workers of balancing their paid jobs with their responsibilities at home. Our research shows that working from home is no panacea for this balancing act – in fact, in some ways it makes the problem harder.”

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The report also showed the burden of working from home doubles for women over their male counterparts.

The Australian Institute found that 70 per cent of Aussies who are working from home said they are doing some additional work, and a further 21 per cent indicated their employer had an increased expectation of availability.

Of those employees who had additional caring responsibilities, 27 per cent of men had not received time allowances from their employer to do so. But almost half (45 per cent ) of women had not – evidence of an increasing double burden for women.

Men were also more likely to get flexibility from their employer and retain the same pay (57 per cent of men with increased caring responsibilities) compared with women (39 per cent).

“One-third of workers indicated that, post-COVID, they expect to work from home more. But without adequate rules and protections, this risks a further incursion of work into people’s personal time, poorer health and safety standards, and greater polarisation between those jobs that can be conducted from home and those that cannot,” Mr Nahum concluded.

‘Living at work’: Working from home sees unpaid overtime soar
Working from home sees unpaid overtime soar
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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