A survey of over 600 leading Australian companies shows the country has one of the highest office occupancy rates in the world.
According to the latest OfficeMAX study, Australia has one out of every four workers working in a workplace with one or more people working from home.
The report, released by the Australian Chamber of Commerce, shows that companies spend nearly $6 billion on office facilities in Australia.
The Australian Chamber says there is a $1.7 trillion shortfall in the budget allocated to the building sector and more than half of that comes from Australia’s reliance on overseas capital markets.
It has called for the Government to use the funds for infrastructure, education and research.
The Chamber says that “the current economic crisis has forced Australia to look beyond our borders for the best place to invest its cash and that we need to create more Australian jobs” and that “we need to build our infrastructure, not put our foot down”.
The Chamber has called on the Government “to build the infrastructure and investment that will sustain our economy” and has also called for Australia to “step up” its defence spending and invest more in research and development.
The study also found that Australian companies are spending almost $2.4 billion per year on office supplies.
The average Australian office supply bill is $17,500.
However, there is one major exception to the average, according to the Chamber.
“It is an anomaly, in that Australian company offices are actually the most expensive of all of the jurisdictions studied,” the report said.
The research also found an increasing proportion of the workforce are aged over 50.
“The average age of Australia’s workers is 43, but almost one in four workers are over 50,” the study said.
It found the majority of the workers are employed in jobs that are less demanding than those they started out in.
“Many of these workers are working for the very people who are being left in the lurch,” the Chamber said.