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Home office: Australian company wants to “rent space in people's homes”

Ruins of the modern age? Sydney’s Central Business District is almost deserted. (Image: Olga Kashubin / Shutterstock)
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An insurance company from Sydney pays its employees a share of the rent for the use of the home office. The free office space, on the other hand, should be used for other purposes.

The employees of one of the largest private health insurers in Australia receive in addition to their annual salary $ 1,200 if they continue to work from home. The insurance company NIB wants to switch completely to a remote working model after the corona crisis.

NIB boss suggests: Home office for everyone

NIB Managing Director Mark Fitzgibbon is convinced that the era of office commuting coming to an end. He prefers to “rent space in people’s homes”. More flexible working models are important and, in the opinion of the NIB boss, could even mean the end of the five-day week – although he does not want to question the weekly working time of currently 38 hours.

To what extent 100 D ollar per month and employee: in a fair compensation of the space and ancillary costs, can be left open. At NIB, the measure is really well received. In an internal survey, with a clear majority of 79 percent, they stated that they were significantly more productive in the home office and also performed better quality work.

One of the main reasons NIB employees overwhelmingly support the new plan is the considerable travel time this saves. On average, Fitzgibbon The Australian calculates that workers would save the equivalent of five weeks that they would otherwise spend in cars, trains and buses on the way to work.

NIB benefits from the solution

In the future, the company will have 75 percent of its offices in Newcastle, Sydney and sublet Melbourne. The remaining space should remain available for inevitable meetings between colleagues. NIB employees should be able to come to the office on a maximum of one day per week.

So while everything seems to be in the best order at NIB and its boss Mark Fitzgibbon, and the business result should not have deteriorated so far, other companies are seeing the change increasingly critical of their workforce in the home office. This is not just about doubts about the productivity of employees when they always have the choice between work and Netflix.

Where is the solidarity with the infrastructure?

It is also about solidarity with an infrastructure that has formed due to the office workers. For example, Sydney’s city center is currently only three percent full, and local businesses are in dire need of customers to stay afloat. National Australia Bank manager Ross McEwan says clearly: “I want our employees to come back to the office to support the city.”

That is also the goal of politics. Dominic Perrotet, the newly appointed Prime Minister of New South Wales, is considering various measures to help bring workers back to the deserted business districts of the big cities – including free public transport is under discussion.

NIB boss Fitzgibbon also admits that not everyone benefits from working from home – not even all employees. But rental income for 75 percent of the office space of the company, which has over 1,000 employees: in any case, ensures that NIB itself could benefit from the solution.

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Adrian Ovalle
Adrian is working as the Editor at World Weekly News. He tries to provide our readers with the fastest news from all around the world before anywhere else.

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