Future of Work

January 2017

What we have learnt

This year’s Future of Work research* highlights the impact of ongoing digital disruption on the Australian workplace. Whilst the 2017 data set suggests that there is some fear amongst Australians around automation and technology replacing human jobs, it also seems that new technology, including the sharing economy, is creating new industries and jobs that didn’t previously exist.

*Based on research conducted by PureProfile on a representative sample of 1,003 Australians
Contact usGet the full data setSee 2016 report

For interviews, photos and further media requests contact Harrison Polites on 0409 623 618 or media@airtasker.com
Are you concerned your job will be replaced by a robot or a machine within the next 5 years?
There is some fear in Australia around machines replacing jobs as new technologies emerge with 16.7 per cent of Australians agreeing that this could happen in as soon as five years.

16.7%

83.3%

Do you believe machines and technology will create more jobs than they replace?
With 71.8 per cent of respondents indicating that the net effect of automation will be less jobs, it seems that some work needs to be done to increase awareness of the job opportunities and industries being created through new technology.

28.2%

YES

71.8%

NO

Of the options below, what kind of tasks do you believe will be the most likely to be replaced by machines within the next five years?
As expected, “routine tasking” was high on the list of jobs that people felt were likely to be replaced however less expected was how likely Australians believe that “precision tasks” would also be replaced by machines in the short term.
Routine tasking
Physical labour
Expert advice
Precise tasks
Human interaction

Human interaction

40.8%

Diversity of tasks in a single role

20.6%

Creativity

19.6%

Complexity of task

19.1%

What do you believe to be the main factor preventing any job from being replaced by a machine?
Despite the rise of consumer facing machine interaction, “Human interaction” was considered to be the main factor that would prevent a human job being replaced by a machine - ranking above diversity, creativity and complexity.

To what extent do you agree/disagree with the following statement?

“The traditional employment model of the 9-5 office job is inflexible for workers in 2017 and into the future”.

Strongly disagree

5%

Disagree

15.7%

Moderately agree

51.1%

Strongly agree

28.2%

What is the most important thing for you in a job?
Flexibility and pay remain the most important aspects of a job for all Australian workers. For three years, “flexibility of work” has beat out “predictability of work” as the most appealing aspect of modern work.
Flexibility of hours
Satisfaction of helping others
Predictability of work
Pay
What is the most important thing for you in a job?
The data set reflects an ongoing trend towards Australian workers increasingly placing emphasis on the importance of community impact (“satisfaction of helping others”) over remuneration (“pay”).

Satisfaction of helping others

2015

14.1%

2016

15.3%

2017

20.5%

Pay

2015

41.8%

2016

37.2%

2017

35.5%

Would you consider earning some extra money in 2017 services through apps/ websites such as Airtasker, Freelancer, 99Designs, UberX etc?

In the three years of the study, more Australians than ever before (87.8 per cent) are looking for more opportunities to earn extra income in 2017. This figure is up 7.9 per cent from 2016’s Future of Work study.

7.1%

Yes, and I have already used these platforms

58.8%

Yes, but I have not used these platforms before

34.1%

No, I would not consider earning money on these platforms


Are you familiar with sharing economy services (for example Uber, AirBnB, Airtasker, GoGet, CarNextDoor)?

The majority (67 per cent) are now aware of the sharing economy and it’s platforms. In 2016, less than half (49.2 per cent) were aware of them.

44.8%

2015

49.2%

2016

67.0%

2017

Have you ever used a
sharing economy service?

The number of Australians using the sharing economy also increased from 26 per cent in 2016 to 28.8 per cent in 2017.

2015

36.5%

yes

2016

26.0%

yes

2017

39.4%

yes

Would you consider earning some extra money in 2015 through “on-demand” services through apps/websites such as Airtasker, Freelancer, 99designs, UberX etc?
The percentage of Australians saying they use the sharing economy to earned extra money rose by roughly half, from 6.1 per cent in 2016 to 9.7 per cent.

Yes - but I have not used any of
these platforms before

2015

53.2%

2016

55.0%

2017

58.8%

Yes - I have already used
these platforms

2015

8.0%

2016

6.1%

2017

7.1%