PATREC Event: Working from Home – What recent evidence is telling us


Register on Eventbrite by clicking here.
Attendance available “in-person” or online via Microsoft Teams.

Please feel free to share this with your colleagues, bring along your lunch and join us for this research seminar, featuring a strong line-up of eminent WA presenters from UWA, Curtin University and the Committee for Perth, who have been actively involved in gathering evidence of working from home (WFH) from a range of disciplinary perspectives (psychology, transport, land use and business).

PATREC has recently commenced an iMOVE CRC project which is part of a national collaboration to investigate the extent of WFH, its potential to continue beyond lockdowns and implications for transport demand. In conducting this research, the research team will build on existing research surveys and studies. The presenters, most of whom are part of the team, will share what current surveys and studies are showing and where relevant, how these will be built upon in the new project. 


Sharon Biermann (PATREC)Welcome and introduction12:00-12:10
Julie Lee (UWA)The Values Project survey12:10-12:20
Doina Olaru (UWA)Travel Demand sub-component of The Values Project survey12:20-12:30
Caroline Knight (Curtin)Centre for Transformative Work Design, Working from Home survey12:30-12:40
Carey CurtisBankwest Curtin Working Closer to Home study12:40-12:50
Marion Fulker (Committee for Perth)Future of Work – Impact of COVID-1912:50-01:00
DiscussionWhat do we need to consider in the new project (next survey waves, interviews)01:00-01:30

Abstracts and About the Presenters

Julie Lee will highlight findings on how people’s motivational life goals influence their work and travel behaviour. She will discuss changes in the behaviour of Australian adults, before and during the pandemic, based on data from The Values Project. The Values Project is a longitudinal panel survey that began in 2017, with the aim of examining human values and how they are expressed, over time and across the lifespan (see

Julie is Professor in Marketing and Founding Director of the Centre for Human and Cultural Values, UWA. Her research focuses on values theory, measurement and application in consumer behaviour and tourism contexts. Most recently, she has been examining the complex relations between values and behaviour across a wide range of areas including financial, human consumption, time-use and daily activities. She has published widely and also consulted across a range of industries and organisations, drawing on her expertise in cross cultural consumer behaviour and marketing research.

Doina Olaru will present results from the UWA Values Project, focusing on the Travel survey conducted in May 2020. The results emphasise that the WFH experiences offered substantial changes in the daily routine. The ‘gift of commuting time’ has been primarily converted into personal care, childcare activities, domestic activities and outdoors leisure and there is an encouraging uptake of active travel and for recreation purposes. While WFH is seen as a practical alternative to being in the workplace by two thirds of respondents, who would want to work from home at least a day a week, the main perceived barrier for WFH seems to be the extent to which employers facilitate the practice.

Doina is Associate Professor in Management and Organisation, UWA Business School and part of PATREC’s research team. She is a transport modeller, particularly interested in the links between urban environment, transport, travel behaviour and its impacts. Applying various modelling techniques (multivariate techniques, choice modelling, spatial analysis, artificial neural networks) has allowed her to approach problems from various perspectives. Her recent, interests are new technologies and their impact on travel behaviour.

Caroline Knight will present findings from an ongoing global, longitudinal Working from Home study, which commenced during the height of the restrictions in April 2020, demonstrating how work is impacting employees’ well-being and performance over time. Plans to build on these findings during the iMOVE project will be shared, focusing on the impact of flexible working arrangements on commuting and work behaviours, and work performance and well-being.

Caroline is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Transformative Work Design, Future of Work Institute, Curtin. Caroline’s research interests are work design, work design interventions, job crafting, wellbeing, and performance. Her PhD is in organisational psychology. Currently, Caroline is leading a large, longitudinal, Working from Home study to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on work, wellbeing, and productivity. Caroline is also co-leading the design and implementation of another large longitudinal study, Working Across the Lifespan (WALS). She has published in a number of top-tier management journals.

Carey Curtis will recap some of the components of the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre’s ‘Working Closer to Home’ project which considered the barriers to, and opportunities for, increasing the number of people able to work closer to their home in both metropolitan Perth and regional Western Australia (WA). In particular, she will cover the analysis of worker commuting and place of employment patterns across WA in order to understand the pre-COVID position as regards current homeworking and commuting patterns.

Carey is Professor of City Planning and Transport. She holds Honorary Professor roles in Australia and Sweden. Her research experience spans four decades and has include over 50 projects in both academia and the planning industry. She has published extensively in the areas of travel behaviour, transport and land use planning, accessibility planning, and institutional barriers to sustainable urban development. She was the lead author of the recent ‘Working Closer to Home’ project.

Marion Fulker will provide an overview of the research conducted by IPSOS for the Committee of Perth as part of its Future of Work major project, surveying more than 1,000 people across WA plus more than 40 senior business leaders. Part of the survey was aimed at shining a light on the impact COVID-19 has on both workers and businesses across WA. COVID-19 created the step change for businesses to implement a more agile workforce. There was a significant increase in agile working arrangements put in place and in plans by employers to shift towards more flexible employment options to adapt to future and global trends. After the initial lockdown, almost a quarter of people were still working from home three or more days per week, however there are pros and cons to this.

Marion Fulker is the CEO of WA’s leading independent think tank – the Committee for Perth. She is also a board member of Infrastructure Australia and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at The University of Western Australia. She has an MBA from Curtin University and will graduate with an Executive MSc in Cities from the London School of Economics and Political Science in July 2021. In her role at the Committee, Marion has acted as Project Director for a number of research projects to understand Greater Perth’s opportunities and challenges and is currently leading the Committee’s latest project –  the Future of Work: equipping WA and its people for the future world of work.