Aussies working from home have been starting earlier and finishing later, according to research from Atlassian

Aussies have been working longer days. Image Getty
  • Data from software giant Atlassian has found Australian employees have been working longer days since lockdowns.
  • The company found that Aussie employees have been working an extra 32 minutes since working from home.
  • Aussies have also been starting work earlier and finishing up later.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Australians have been working longer days following coronavirus-related lockdowns, according to research from software giant Atlassian.

A team of data scientists from the company looked at data from Atlassian users around the world, particularly across its Jira, Confluence and Bitbucket software. They tracked the first and last time of user activity from Monday to Friday across several countries including Australia, the United States, Israel and Japan to pinpoint approximately how long their workday was.

The data scientists found that when lockdowns happened, the average working day became longer. In Australia, the average working hours spiked from nearly 6.8 hours in early March to just over 7.4 hours by mid April.

Image: Atlassian

The scientists looked at data between January and February 2020 – when most employees were generally working from an office – and compared it with data between April and May, when most staff worked from home. And there was a noticeable difference in the length of the average workday, particularly in Israel and India.

People in Israel worked the longest when comparing those two time periods, working an extra 47 minutes more. Australians worked an extra 32 minutes while working from home, and so too did people in India, the US and Canada.

Working times also increased in Japan (16 minutes) and France (17 minutes), while The Republic of Korea experienced the least difference, at seven minutes.

The scientists also looked at the average start and end times between countries. In Australia, users started 10 minutes earlier and finished 23 minutes later.

Image: Atlassian

While several businesses have allowed employees to work remotely or offered flexible work options, there are still some adjustments that workers need to make.

“The patterns we observed suggest that the boundaries between home and office blur, and companies and employees need to adjust their practices to this new world,” Atlassian Principal Data Scientist Arik Friedman said in a blog post.

Without boundaries between work and other aspects of your life, there is a risk of developing burnout.

“In other words, we need to find effective ways of “switching off” or risk burning out,” Friedman added.

The findings come after a report from Atlassian earlier this year which found that, among people who worked remotely, 44% found the work-life balance difficult and 54% found it hard to maintain boundaries between work and their personal lives.

“We’ve inadvertently extended the working day and I think we’re doing it by sacrificing things that are as important, if not more important, being balance,” Atlassian work futurist Dom Price told Business Insider Australia in October.

Friedman went on to suggest what managers could do to address these issues, such as checking in on their workers and encouraging them to set reminders to take breaks and finish up working for the day.

“Remote work will be part of our lives to some extent for a long time,” he added. “The question now is whether we can find a way to make remote work work – for everyone.”

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