Remote Working, Home Comforts, and Passion-Led Careers Drive the Entrepreneurial Aspirations of the Next Generation of Australian Workers

Survey finds 4 in 5 Australians would embrace remote working habits, 6 in 10 prefer to stay in an Airbnb when travelling for work, and almost 3 in 4 not already working for themselves would leave their current job if it meant they could follow their passions. 

To mark World Entrepreneurs Day today, global travel community, Airbnb, has teamed up with one of Australia’s leading technology co-working hubs, Tank Stream Labs, to release the findings of their ‘Evolution of Work’ survey.

The research survey conducted by YouGov Galaxy surveyed 1,000 Australian workers and reveals a number of key trends on the changing nature of workplaces and the expectations of modern employees.

According to the survey, the growing generation of millennials entering the workforce for the first time are taking the entrepreneurial road, setting up their own businesses to follow their passions and be their own boss. 9 in 10 millennials say they don’t want to wake up one day and regret never having pursued their dreams and as many as 7 in 10 say they would like to start their own business compared to older generations (57% Gen X; 32% baby boomers).

Other key findings include:

  • 81% of Australians would like to work remotely, while 40% are already doing it at least once a week.
  • When working from home, workers say they would be most likely to work in their home office (62%), in the lounge room (30%) or at the kitchen table (16%). Millennials are more likely to work from bed (22%) or from an outside balcony or verandah (20%).
  • Employees travelling for work want to feel like they are at home when on the road, with 49% citing the comforts of a real home as the reason to book an Airbnb. 6 in 10 Australians who travel for work say they would prefer to stay in an Airbnb over more traditional accommodation options.
  • 4 in 5 Australians who have not already started their own business say they don’t want to wake up one day and regret never having pursued their dreams and passions in life, and as many as 55% say they would like to start their own business one day.

Flexible work is the future of the Australian workforce

According to the research, two-thirds (65%) of employees believe flexible work and the ability to work from home, a cafe, shared or co-working space when they want, or need to, make an employer more appealing to work for. This is followed by employee benefits (48%) and the ability to cash in on untaken annual leave (43%).

“Technology is changing the way we work as it allows people to stay connected like never before, giving today’s workforce the ability to do their jobs from anywhere at any time. Businesses are no longer required to have all their staff in one physical location, which makes it easier for people to work remotely and travel, particularly for those companies that have interstate or international teams.”

Sam McDonagh, Airbnb Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand

Benefits of working from home

One of the other major benefits uncovered in the survey when it comes to working from home is the amount of time people can save on their daily commute. Half of Australians (50%) said they would use the additional time to spend more quality time with their family, while 45% said they would exercise more, or focus on their hobbies (42%). Those 18-24 years (60%) say they would spend the time getting more sleep.  

Travelling for work

When it comes to travelling for work, 61% of Australians would prefer to stay in an Airbnb with nearly half (49%) saying that they want the comforts of a real home when travelling on business. The ability to cook rather than eating out (44%), being able to wash their clothes (35%), own space and privacy (33%), having room to spread out their working documents and files (32%), and having a separate area to entertain and catch up with friends in different cities (22%) were the main drivers for workers turning to the sharing economy for work-based travel.

“Since Airbnb launched Airbnb for Work, which makes it easier to travel for work without sacrificing the comforts of home, more than 36,000 companies in Australia and New Zealand, have had employees sign up and book on the platform. We continue to see the soaring popularity of Airbnb meeting the ‘bleisure’ needs of business travellers looking to combine work with leisure and explore the cities they’re travelling to,” McDonagh said.

“More than 30% of Airbnb for Work bookings in the past year include at least one weekend night and more than 60% included more than one guest, showing that rather than the traditional solo business traveller, workers are increasingly taking business trips with other colleagues, friends or family and sharing a home together.”

Airbnb introduced Airbnb for Work in 2014 making it easy for employees to travel and collaborate with their co-workers. Employees can search for work-ready homes on Airbnb using the Trip type filter. These are homes with the essential amenities needed when travelling for work like a workspace, wifi, and self check-in. For travel managers and team coordinators, the Airbnb for Work program provides a free dashboard that makes it easier to book, manage and track company trips on Airbnb.

The entrepreneurial pursuit of passion

According to the survey, more than half of Australians (51%) have considered making a career change to work for themselves and follow their passion, with millennials (64%) more likely than Gen X (50%) and baby boomers (39%) to do so.

80% of Australians who are not already working for themselves wish they had a job that allowed them to follow their passions while working, and as many as 3 in 4 Australians (74%) say they would leave their current job if it meant working on something they’re passionate about.

The three main drivers for Australians wanting to start their own business include being their own boss (53%), being able to pursue their passions (45%) and pride in building something from nothing (42%). This was followed by the freedom of an entrepreneurial lifestyle (35%).

“Working alongside 250+ technology start-ups, which include some of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs, we have witnessed first hand the expectation shift as employees want more flexibility, to feel empowered to work on their own terms, and most importantly, they want to feel connected and passionate about the work they are doing.This is why we are seeing so many emerging startups as the modern day workforce is thriving with budding entrepreneurs. Businesses who are failing to evolve are now starting to struggle in attracting and retaining staff”.

Yaron Rudman, Tank Stream Labs Chief Operating Officer 

Turning passion into profit

40% of Australians say money is the main thing holding them back from starting their own business. This is followed by not knowing where to start to convert their passion into a business (29%). On the flipside, 81% of Australians say they don’t want to wake up one day and regret not chasing after their dreams.

McDonagh concluded: “Many Australians are already using the sharing economy to turn their passion into a career. Airbnb Experiences offers budding entrepreneurs the ability to start a side business by sharing their hobbies, skills, or expertise with others, while making an income from it. So while you may not be able to leave your current nine-to-five job, this is a great first step to get you focusing on something you are truly passionate about that you can build from.”

For more information on Airbnb for Work, visit airbnbforwork.com. For more information on Airbnb Experiences, visit airbnb.com.au/experiences. For more information on Tank Stream Labs visit tankstreamlabs.com

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