Australian workers are increasingly convinced that their employers should speak out on social issues during the pandemic, a new survey for software giant Atlassian shows.
Employees are also much more concerned about mental health and are increasingly demanding home office work, as the survey by the consulting firm PwC shows.
The survey found that 74% of employees agree that dealing with social issues is just as important for companies as it is with their financial results, 5 percentage points more than last year.
And 37% said they would be willing to quit if their employer disagreed with their values, up 6 percentage points from the previous survey.
Mental health and wellbeing were ranked as the most important issue before access to health care and the cost of living.
Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes said the pandemic appeared to have made people “reevaluate their life priorities.”
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“Part of that is where I live and what I want to spend my time with, but I also think it will make them reevaluate the company I work for – at some level, what are they doing? stand for? Is that the job i want? Is this the stress level I want? All of these things.
“So it doesn’t surprise me that this leads to people applying or agitating, be it with their existing employer or the decision to leave and work elsewhere.”
The survey of 1,225 Australian workers found that 42% of workers would consider switching jobs to work from home, compared with 50% of Generation X workers.
Cannon-Brookes said Atlassian stopped requiring employees ever to set foot in the office since the middle of last year – although they could if they wanted.
“I would say it has been very successful here – we still have a lot to do, but we don’t expect to ever instruct people to return to the office,” he said.
“For all of the people who want it to get back to normal, don’t quote, it’s not normal, the new normal won’t look like it did in the past.”
The work from home option had helped attract talent in a job market that was becoming scarce because software companies could not obtain work visas, an employment option Atlassian used extensively in the past.
“Demand [for talent] exceeds supply and there is no way to increase that supply in the last four months, ”he said. “Education is long-term” [issue]… there have been changes to the range that we need for decades. “
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He said Australia also needs to adapt to the reality of CO2 tariffs. The European Union has announced a “mechanism to adjust CO2 limits” and the US is considering a similar tax.
“We’re fucking getting used to the fact that border carbon taxes are going to be a thing,” said Cannon-Brookes. “This will do massive damage to the Australian economy if we don’t do something about it.
“The thing you can do about it is actually take some damned action against the problem.
“It will have an impact on our exports, whether this round or the next, if you look at the five, 10, 20 year period.”