Australians experienced a AU$5.6 billion travel time cost reduction as a result of work from home (WFH) arrangements according to a report by transportation research body iMove.
The iMove report, Prospects for Working from Home: Assessing the Evidence [PDF], also found that future investment in physical transport infrastructure must be assessed in unison with opportunities to invest in digital work ecosystems.
“Arguably, the global COVID pandemic interrupted Australian life more than at any time since the Second World War and gave rise to an unchosen ‘policy challenge’ for millions of Australian workers, and their families, friends, and housemates,” the report states.
Its key policy recommendations highlight a need to support the voluntary bargain between employers and employees, ensure that workers are not severely disadvantaged or exploited, and for further investment in both digital and physical infrastructure.
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Additionally, the report claims that governance structures for transportation planning and investment procedures should be reinforced to handle the risk of costly mistakes, as the work from home model effectively scrambled pre-Covid transportation demand estimates.
On this, the report recommends that future investment in physical transport infrastructure should include an additional sensitivity test to consider the relative merits of alternative, or parallel investments in digital infrastructure.
The report then claims that significant recent advances in telecommunications technology and digital infrastructure investments have so far enabled the success of the work from home model.
“Increased bandwidth and lowered latency for Australian businesses and households has permitted an increasing number of occupations to work from home effectively,” the report said.