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    Connectedness to colleagues on the rise during COVID-19

    Working in the office

    Research by Medibank’s Live Better Rewards program has shed new light on how Australians really feel about the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their work environment.

    The survey of more than 2,000 people across Australia explored relationships with colleagues, return to working in the office, health and wellbeing, and working from home.

    Medibank Group Executive - People & Culture Kylie Bishop said the survey found that 41% of those in paid jobs believe the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to them feeling more connected to their colleagues since returning to the office.

    “They highlighted a focus on supporting each other and shared experience of the pandemic as some of the reasons they’ve been able to increase the bond with their colleagues,” she said.

    The survey also looked at the impact returning to the office had on the amount of exercise Australians were doing including incidental activity like walking to public transport or walking to buy a coffee or lunch.

    “28% of those surveyed in paid jobs reported that they are exercising more since returning to the office while 22% are getting less physical activity. A majority of people are positive about the return to the office, with just 13% dissatisfied.

    “Of those that were dissatisfied, 72% said it was because of the commute, 65% said there was less flexibility in the day and 57% less time for themselves.” Additionally, 28% of full-time employees said they spent more hours working in 2020 compared to previous years, with Millennials reporting the highest increase in work hours.

    Ms Bishop said there have been some real positives to come out of what has been a difficult 18 months.

    “We’ve all had to adapt to the changing situation during COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. It’s clear Australians have showed a huge amount of resilience.

    “Employers have really stepped up by providing their teams with more flexibility and support over the past 18 months, to help employees adjust to new ways of working,” Ms Bishop said.

    Live Better members who hold Medibank hospital or extras cover can earn up to $360 in value each year for taking healthy actions, with thousands of eligible members having already earned more than $100 in value simply for looking after their health.

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