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‘More than half of kiwis working from home’

A new study suggests that working from home has become an embedded part of New Zealanders’ habits post the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2023 World Internet Project (WIP) report released today suggests the number of people working from home has remained elevated in the post-lockdown world, demonstrating the lasting impact of the pandemic.

That followed the substantial increase during the lockdowns in the country, which forced many workplaces to close their doors to employees.

AUT NZ Work Research Institute (NZWRI) researcher Alexandra Turcu, who led the study, says the survey shows that internet connections are more important now than ever, with more than half of respondents engaging in remote work at least some of the time.

“Remote work is no longer just for the digital nomads,” says Alexandra. “The pandemic opened the door to hybrid work for many New Zealanders, and that door has stayed firmly open in our post-lockdown world.”

AUT runs the New Zealand survey and analysis, which sits alongside similar reporting activities by 30 WIP partner countries, with the report released in collaboration with InternetNZ. New Zealand has been included in this international benchmarking endeavour since 2007. NZWRI Director, Professor Gail Pacheco, says the report offers insights on the prevalence and impact of remote working, the quality and accessibility of internet connections across NZ, and opinions about the impact of social media.

“A large-scale nationally representative survey such as WIP is of paramount importance to understand internet use across NZ, and the evolving nature of this use across a number of population groups,” says Professor Pacheco.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Vivien Maidaborn says the study also underscores the urgency of ensuring digital equity for all New Zealanders.

“While most New Zealanders have access to good internet connections, there is still work to do to make sure the internet is available to everyone. We need sustainable government investment in the digital equity basics of affordable connectivity, appropriate and affordable devices and also skills and support to use these things.

“This will inch us closer to digital equity so that everyone can all take part in a society that so heavily relies on the internet” Maidaborn says.

The report also reveals that more than a third of respondents feel that social media companies have a negative impact on the world. Additionally, the majority of respondents agree that stronger regulation of these social media companies is needed.

Invitation to WIP report launch The World Internet Project report will be launched from 11:30am-12:30pm on Wednesday 6 December 2023.

Register for the webinar here: https://bit.ly/3GdLeAs


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