Facts, figures and visuals on the impacts respondents had due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)

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How to read the data on this page

Don’t use this data to represent the whole public sector.

Some organisations weren’t able to take part in the 2020 survey as they were responding to the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

These were:

  • 16 metropolitan and large regional health services
  • 10 other hospitals
  • Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • Victoria Police

With some results, some numbers may add up to more than 100% as respondents could select more than one answer.

Read more about the 2020 survey

Who took part in the 2020 survey


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Due to the varied representation of some industry groups in the 2020 survey, there may be bias in the results.

The under-represented industry groups in the 2020 survey are:

  • Police and emergency services
  • Public health care

The over-represented industry groups in the 2020 survey are:

  • TAFE and other education
  • Victorian Public Service
  • Water and land management

The 2020 survey results aren’t comparable to surveys of employee opinions or experiences in other years.

The data for % of public sector workforce comes from our annual workforce data collection.

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Changes to work arrangements

Most respondents changed work arrangements due to coronavirus (COVID-19) Stay Safe Directions.

Of this:

  • 70% of respondents had to work from home in the 6 months prior to the survey
  • 90% of respondents who were required to work from home, worked from home most or all of the time

Perceptions on support received

In the survey, we asked respondents how supported and informed they were due to changes from coronavirus (COVID-19) Stay Safe Directions.


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Changes by industry

The industry a respondent worked in affected if they could work from home.

For example:

  • 25% of health respondents were able to work from home, with about half of this 25% working from home most or all the time
  • 96% of Victorian Public Service respondents worked from home, with nearly all working from home most or all the time

Table 1 of 3: Respondents who said they experienced changes

In this first table, respondents said if they had experienced changes to their work arrangements in 2020.

Table 2 of 3: What respondents said the changes were

In this second table, respondents who said they experienced changes to their work arrangements reported on what these changes were.


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Table 3 of 3: How often respondents worked from home by industry

In this third table, respondents reported on how often they worked from home if one of the changes they experienced was to work from home.

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Changes by workplace location

Where a respondent lived affected if they had to work from home or not.

Survey results show the impact coronavirus (COVID-19) Stay Safe Directions had on Victorian regions.

Compare these figures as an example:

  • 85% of respondents in metropolitan Melbourne worked from home
  • 5% of respondents in metropolitan Melbourne had no changes to how they worked
  • 48% of respondents in non-metropolitan areas worked from home
  • 16% of respondents in non-metropolitan areas had no changes to how they worked

Table 1 of 2: What respondents said the changes were by location

In this first table by location, respondents who said they experienced changes to their work arrangements reported on what these changes were.


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Table 2 of 2: How often respondents worked from home by location

In this second table by location, respondents reported on how often they worked from home if one of the changes they experienced was to work from home.

 


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Working from home

Between March and October 2020, coronavirus (COVID-19) Stay Safe Directions directed employees they must work from home if they could.

In this context, respondents answered questions about the benefits and barriers to working from home.

Benefits

The top 2 benefits respondents reported about working from home were:

  1. 90% for no commuting time
  2. 71% reporting more flexibility in working hours

Only 2% said there were no noticeable benefits.


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Barriers

The top barriers respondents reported about working from home were:

  • limited social interactions with the team
  • technology limitations
  • difficulties separating work and other aspects of life

Only 12% of respondents said there were no noticeable barriers.


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Transition back to usual work locations

Many respondents either worked from home or somewhere else than usual due to coronavirus (COVID-19) Stay Safe Directions.

We ran the survey from 12 to 30 October 2020.

In the 3 months prior to the 2020 survey, 16% of respondents had gone back to work at their usual location in part or in full.

This included:

  • 53% of health care respondents
  • 5% of Victorian Public Service respondents

Based on location, this was:

  • one-third of respondents in non-metropolitan areas
  • 10% of respondents in metropolitan Melbourne

By industry


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By work location


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Wellbeing impacts

The 2020 survey asked:

  • “In the last 6 months, have you experienced any of the following changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
    [Select all that apply]
    – Substantial change in my type of work, work priorities, or how I am expected to do my work
    – Diverted or redeployed to a different role or organisation
    – Worked from home
    – Other change in physical workplace (e.g. moved to a new building)
    – I have not experienced any of the above changes”

The impacts on respondent wellbeing from working during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were different based on what changes they experienced.

For example:

  • if the only change was working from home, respondents reported a more positive impact on their wellbeing
  • if there were changes in what work a respondent did and how they did it, this had a more negative impact on their wellbeing

How work made respondents feel

We asked respondents how work made them feel.


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Negative behaviours


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Engagement and satisfaction


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