Work-Life Balance in Australia

Monday, January 15, 2018


It was January 1948 that the Commonwealth Arbitration Court gave official ascent to the 40 hour, five day working week in Australia.

The public push for this work-life balance often included the symbol of ‘888’ with the accompanying statement of the daily ideal: 8 hours’ work, 8 hours’ recreation and 8 hours of sleep. However, 70 years on, it seems that this balance has alluded most Australians.

When it comes to discretionary time that is not allocated to either paid or unpaid work (such as housework and caring responsibilities), working Australians are enjoying around 3.5 hours per day.

Across every age group, Australian men have more leisure time, on average per day, than women. The average adult male in Australia has 34 minutes more leisure time than the average female which equates to 4 hours per week.

The 2016 Census data shows that we are still working long hours in paid employment too. Of those with a job, 2 in 5 are working beyond the 8-hour day, and way beyond it when commute time is included.

The resulting time pressure and stress, particularly amongst women

Women feel more stressed and pressed for time than men in Australia, with 35% of Australian men and 42% of Australian women in this ABS study released in September 2017 stating that they were always or often rushed or pressed for time.

Women are almost five times more likely than men to feel this way due to demands of family.

Men are as likely to feel no time pressure as constant time pressure. Women are much more likely to often/always feel rushed and pressed for time than to never/rarely feel this.

Eight hours of sleep? Closer to seven


Data: sleepcycle.com

Reporting: smh.com.au

Women outworking men in total time spent in work

Over the last decade, women have increased their paid work hours while men have plateaued here. While men have marginally increased their unpaid weekly work hours, it has done little to close the gap with women.

Total time spent working (paid and unpaid) by women in Australia significantly exceeds that of men in couple households, regardless of whether the woman earns more, less or the same as the man.

Watch Mark McCrindle's full interview on Ten News Here

Uncovering Australia’s middle market [BDO Case Study]

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Today we launch the results of McCrindle's latest analysis into Australia’s dynamic mid-market, commissioned by BDO Australia.

In our research, we discovered that the mid-market is a mystery. People seem to understand what small business is and even big-business – but the middle market is less defined. To be clear, this is where the action is. These are growing businesses, dynamic, fast-moving, entrepreneurial in nature, exploring new regions and new markets, and embracing technology.

Defining the mid-market

There is a lack of clear consensus as to what counts as the ‘middle’ and how to define the ‘market’. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), for example, defines medium sized businesses as those who employ between 20 and 200 employees. Based on employment size, there are 51,024 medium sized businesses in Australia, and these medium sized businesses account for just 2% of the 2.2 million businesses recorded by the ABS.

For the purpose of the research, we define the Australian middle market as businesses with an annual turnover between $10 million and $250 million. This definition is based on data used by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Their definitions divide Australian businesses into seven size categories that range from ‘loss’ on the lowest end of the spectrum to ‘very large’ on the highest end. Businesses earning between $10 million and $250 million are defined as being ‘medium to large’ in size. Businesses in this category contribute close to one fifth of net tax (18% - almost $13b to the Australian economy, and produce nearly a quarter of Australia’s total revenue (23%; $645bn).

It is clearly a misunderstood space – so at McCrindle we have assisted BDO with the data to better understand the mid-market, and spoken with senior executives from mid-market companies to understand the challenges they face in the current business landscape.

Opportunities for the mid-market

Leaders in the mid-market face opportunities and challenges uniquely connected to their business size.

In a changing economic market, middle market players have the advantage of being nimble and agile, not subject to hierarchal structures in the way larger companies are. They are strongly focused on innovation. For leaders in the middle market, innovation has moved away from just being about the product to the systems and processes through which the product reaches the consumer. Business leaders see technology as a key way to adapt in a world of digitalisation, particularly internal technological innovations. They also recognise the challenge of securing suitably skilled talent to continue to drive growth in their businesses.

To read further, access the full report here.

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For more information on our research and visualisation services, please feel free to check out our Research Pack, or get in touch!

P: 02 8824 3422

E: info@mccrindle.com.au

Merry Christmas from McCrindle

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas, Australia!

Especially to the 305,377 newborn Australians experiencing their first Christmas and the 6,268 enjoying their 100th (or more) Christmas!

We hope you enjoy unwrapping the technological, experiential, and jewellery gifts you are hoping for this year. Enjoy decorating your Christmas tree, which would be over 8 million Christmas trees if every household in Australia had one! 

From all of us at McCrindle we hope you enjoy the infographic we have created, and that amidst the busyness of the season you have time to connect with family and friends, reflect on the Christmas story and enjoy the many things that make this country great.

Have a Merry Christmas, and a fantastic 2018!

- The McCrindle Team

Aussie Sentiment Towards Christmas

Monday, December 18, 2017

Our recent survey of 1,002 Australians reveals that while there may be some debate about the Christmas story in our religiously diverse world, Australians don’t want to lose the true meaning of Christmas.

Our annual research on best or worst gifts reveals technology is still voted the best gift to receive and novelty or decorative items once again are the least desired.

True meaning of Christmas still a strong sentiment

Over four in five Australians (85%) prefer the traditional greeting of “Merry Christmas” compared to more neutral salutations like “Season’s Greetings” (8%) and “Happy Holidays” (7%).


Although there are some debates around whether the Christmas Story should be shared, nine in ten Australians (91%) support nativity scenes in public spaces. Just 9% of Australians say shopping centres and local councils should not display these decorations.

Religious insights

Even Australians who practice a religion other than Christianity or have no religious beliefs are happy to see a nativity scene in public spaces (91% of those with a religion other than Christianity and 86% with no religion think 'it's great' or they 'should be allowed').

Generational insights

The older generations (Generation X, Baby Boomers and Builders, 87%) are more likely to prefer the more traditional Christmas greeting, “Merry Christmas,” compared to the younger generations, Generation Z & Y (81%).

The best gifts… and the worst

With so many new and exciting gadgets hitting the market each year, it is no surprise that nine in ten Australians (90%) rate technology as the best gift, or one they wouldn’t mind receiving. Experiences remain high on the wish list at number two for over four in five Aussies (83%). Jewellery comes in at number three with just under three quarters of Australians (74%) saying this would be their best gift or that they wouldn't mind receiving it.

On the bottom end of the scale are novelty gifts which are rated the worst gifts. Almost three in five Australians (57%) say they wouldn’t like to receive such trinkets or that it would be their worst gift. Ornaments and decorative items come in second last (54% state they wouldn't like to receive it or that it would be the worst gift).

For Australian women, the top three ‘best gifts’ are experiences (36%), technology (35%) and jewellery (29%). For Australian men, the top three ‘best gifts’ are technology (37%), experiences (17%) and food gifts (16%).

Generational Insights

Although technology is perceived to only be enjoyed by the younger generations, this research reveals technology is actually the number one ‘best gift’ across all generations.

Experiences are rate second across all generations, except the Builder Generation (aged over 72), for whom a food gift is considered to be the best gift.

Download the full media release here

About this study

This research was conducted by McCrindle in November 2017 based on a nationwide study of 1,002 respondents.

For media commentary or enquiries, please contact Kimberley Linco at kim@mccrindle.com.au or via 02 8824 3422.

Which Australian Capital City with have the best weather on Christmas Day?

Friday, December 15, 2017

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the numbers reveal Perth, Adelaide and Canberra have the best chance of perfect weather on December 25th! 
 
The historical data reveals that all three cities are likely to have an average temperature in the high 20s and less than 20% chance of rain.
 
On the other end of the spectrum, Darwin has the highest chance of rain and a sweltering average of

32.3ºC.

From all of us at McCrindle, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas a safe and happy New Year!

Redefining Sydney’s urban lifestyles

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It was a pleasure to partner with Urban Taskforce Australia to produce the “Sydney Lifestyle Study”, launched to a room of urban developers, government representatives, and industry stakeholders this week.

The 2017 Sydney Lifestyle Study is a first-ever research study on Sydney’s apartment dwellers. Insights from the ABS and a new survey of 1,503 Sydney residents shed light on the different demographic segments in Sydney apartments and their lifestyle choices, habits, motivations and reasons for choosing apartment living.

Click here to download the full report.

Sydney’s changing lifestyles

Australia in the 1990s

A lot has changed in Australia over a very short period of time. Over a quarter of a century ago, in the year 1991, the population of Australia had just surpassed 16 million.

  • The median age was 32 years old and median individual income was just $13,950 per annum.
  • More than one in three (36%) Australians lived in New South Wales where individual income was slightly higher at $14,395.
  • Home owners in New South Wales paid a median monthly mortgage repayment of $627 while renters paid just $128 per week.

Modern Sydney

Fast-forward to today and the Australian population is on track to reach 25 million persons in early 2018.

  • That’s more than 50% higher than in 1991.
  • Our population has increased our median age to 38, both nationally and in New South Wales.
  • Today, median personal income in New South Wales has reached $34,528 per year while median mortgage repayments have more than doubled at $1,986 per month.
  • Median rent has nearly tripled to $380 per week.

Sydney’s urban lifestyles

Such population growth is changing the housing stock in Sydney. Sydneysiders have been trading traditional detached homes for apartments at an increasing rate. Currently, 30% of all households in Sydney’s urban area now live in apartments.

Sydney’s growing apartment market is comprised of nearly half a million households, representing many diverse cultures, languages and backgrounds.

McCrindle has identified four emerging urban family household types within Sydney’s apartment market. These are Vertical Families, Cosmo Couples, Solo Metropolites and One-Parent Households.

Vertical Families

Vertical families make up one in five apartment households (20%).

They are most likely to be young Gen Ys as nearly two in three (64%) are aged between 23 and 37.


Cosmo Couples

The second emerging family type who are increasingly adopting the apartment lifestyle are urban couples.

The number of couples with no children living in apartments has increased by 21% since 2011 and now represents over one quarter (27%) of apartment households.

Solo Metropolites

Sydney’s largest apartment segment is made up of lone persons (34%).

Three in five are renters (63%) and the largest generation represented are Baby Boomers aged between 53 and 71 (37%).


One-parent families

The fourth urban segment is one of the smallest but by no means insignificant. Single parents with children comprise one in 12 apartment dwellers (8%) in Sydney.

Single parents living in apartments are most likely aged between 38 and 52 (49%).


Sydney’s future forecast

Sydney in 2024

If the current trends observed across Sydney over the past five years continue, the number of traditional detached houses could drop to 49% by as early as 2024.

Filling the gap apartments would then make up 34% of Sydney’s total housing stock. The remaining housing stock (17%) would be made up of semi-detached or terrace housing.

These insights and more can be found in the Sydney Lifestyle Study Report.


GET IN TOUCH

For more information on our research and visualisation services, please feel free to check out our Research Pack, or get in touch!

P: 02 8824 3422

E: info@mccrindle.com.au

Generation Alpha: Q&A with Ashley Fell

Friday, December 08, 2017

How do you define Generation Alpha?

The launch of the iPad in 2010 coincided with the beginning of our current generation of children, Generation Alpha. There are now 2.5 million Gen Alphas being born around the globe each week.

We named them ‘Generation Alpha’ to signify not just a new generation, but a generation that will be shaped by an entirely different world. That is why we moved to the Greek alphabet, to signify this different generation that will be raised in a new world of technological integration.

How will Gen Alpha's experience of technology differ from Gen Y and Z?

Gen Alpha were born into a world of iPhones (in fact the Oxford English Dictionaries word of the year in 2010 when they were first born was “app”), YouTube (where there are now 100 hours of videos uploaded every minute), and Instagram (where life is photographed and shared instantly and globally).

While Gen Y and Z are very tech-savvy and digitally connected, Gen Alpha will be the first entire generation to have technology seamlessly integrated into their lives. Gen Y and certainly some of the older Gen Zed’s will remember a time before iPhones and social media, whereas for all Generation Alpha’s these devices will be a part of their upbringing from a very early age.

What advantages will Gen Alpha’s technological literacy give them compared with the older generations?

Gen Alpha babies will grow up to be smarter, richer, and healthier and will obtain the highest level of formal education in history.

Because their parents will indulge them in more formal education and at an earlier age, Gen Alpha will have access to more information than any other generation. Their formal education has never been equalled in the history of the world, with a predicted 1 in 2 Gen Alphas to obtain a university degree.

As a result of seamlessly integrating technology and devices into their lives from such a young age, Generation Alpha will have a better foundation to build their technological literacy.

What technologies shape the lives of Gen Alpha?

Technology has and will continue to change how we, and Generation Alpha communicate. It’s a world of ‘Screenagers’ where not only do they multi-screen and multi-task, but glass has become the new medium for content dissemination. Unlike the medium of paper, it is kinaesthetic, visual, interactive, connective and still portable.

Glass was something that Gen Y’s were told to look through and keep their fingers off. For Gen Alpha, glass is a medium they touch, talk, and look at.

Gen Alpha truly are the ‘millennial generation’, born and shaped fully in the 21st century, and the first generation (in record numbers) who will welcome the 22nd century.

Gen Alphas are logged on and linked up, digital natives. They are the most materially endowed and technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet!


About Ashley Fell

Ashley Fell is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst and media commentator she understands how to effectively communicate across diverse audiences. From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms and content creation, Ashley advises on how to achieve cut through in message-saturated times. She is an expert in how to communicate across generational barriers.


Download Ashley's Speaker Pack here, and view her speakers reel below. 


Sydney: A city of cities and the emergence of Western Sydney CBD’s

Friday, December 01, 2017

The Greater Sydney Commission has highlighted that the future of Sydney will not be centred around the Harbour and the CBD but rather it will be a city of three cities.

The Plan for a Growing Sydney outlines what Sydneysiders are increasingly doing - living, working and connecting within their region of this global city.

The Commission defines these three “30-minute cities” as the Eastern city encompassing the harbour and CBD all the way west to Macquarie Park; the Central city, which runs from there, west to incorporate Blacktown; and the Western City which extends all the way to Penrith and the foothills of the Blue Mountains.

Not only is the Hills district strategically located in the heart of this Central city, but it is one of the few areas in Sydney outside the CBD which is already achieving the goal of “a city with smart jobs”. The Hills district has more than 80,000 local jobs and a population a bit over 160,000 people.

Therefore, it has one local job for every two residents. Compare this to South West Sydney, Southern Sydney and Greater Western Sydney, which each only have one local job for every three residents.

Based on the current growth, by 2037 the Hills district will have increased its population by almost 100,000 people. To keep this impressive local jobs provision ratio, by then it will have to add almost 50,000 new local jobs.

This entrepreneurial hotspot, located close to the geographical and population centre of Sydney, and with the help of the growing number of small businesses, will probably achieve this goal.

Based on the current rise in the number of businesses in the Hills Shire, growing at more than 4% per year, there will be twice as many businesses locally in 20 years than the 20,000 operating here today.

We have been delighted to work with Mulpha recently on the launch of the Norwest City vision.

Twenty years ago, the first stage of Norwest Business Park was just getting underway and Norwest Boulevard did not connect through to Old Windsor Road. 

In twenty years’ time, Western Sydney airport will have been up and running for a decade, Norwest Business Park with the Metro and high-rises will feel a lot like a CBD and the local population will exceed a quarter of a million people.

If the current infrastructure investment and local economy keeps pace, the Hills will achieve all the elements of the Greater Sydney Commission vision to be not only a growing city, but an efficient, resilient, diverse, collaborative and equitable one as well.

Black Friday Sales in Australia

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Black Friday is the retail super-day popular in the US and in 2017 it is November 24. It is the day following the Thanksgiving public holiday and in some states it is an additional holiday. 

All of this has combined to make it the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season, and the biggest single shopping day of the year. 

It has grown significantly over the last decade and last year, more than 100 million Americans went shopping on this one day, ringing up sales exceeding US$50 billion. For many stores, Black Friday and the shopping season launches a revenue boon that pushes revenues into the black, thus the eponymous name.

Without the Thanksgiving marker, or any public holidays, Black Friday is currently not a big event in Australia. In fact this national research we have just conducted shows that less than 1 in 20 Australians (4.7%) are expecting sales, and more than 1 in 4 (27%) have never even heard of it.

40% of Australians say Black Friday doesn’t really happen in Australia and another 39% don’t know.

Most Australians (54%) don’t know whether Black Friday is online only or also in stores.


Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, popular for online shopping super sales, has even lower awareness in Australia. Considering we are in a global marketplace, used to adopting retail trends from the US, the current low awareness of these sale super-days in Australia may be a surprise. However, the mass engagement with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US is really only a decade old, and so the years ahead will see a higher profile for these sale days in Australia.

Australians are up for a bargain, whatever the day is called, with 1 in 3 Australians (34%) agreeing that they will definitely be looking out for stores offering discounts. Even without the tradition of these sales, or the associated public holidays, late November presents an ideal opportunity for local retailers to kick start their Christmas sales, and so we can expect to hear more about Black Friday in coming years.

Download the summary report here.

Mark McCrindle in the media

SBS "Will Amazon join Australia's Black Friday party?"

Courier Mail "Black Friday 2017 sales: Australia missing out on best shopping deals because of ignorance"


Gen Z Career Aspirations & the Future of Work

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What do Gen Z aspire to be when they grow up? Social researcher Eliane Miles was recently asked to unpack the latest findings from the Australian Institute on Family Studies on ABC The Drum.

Gender-based career preferences

The research identified there are significant gender differences among Gen Zs aged 14 and 15 when they think about their possible futures. Boys gravitate most towards engineering (14% of those who stated an occupation), information technology (10%), construction (9%), automotive (8%), or sports (6%), while the top five occupations chosen by girls were medical professionals (13%), education professionals (11%), legal (11%), personal services (7%), and performance arts (7%). Just three occupations (health, design, and performance arts) overlapped among both genders when looking at the top ten list.

Girls need more inspiration to move towards STEM

While are naturally career preferences that appeal to each gender (with Eliane’s commentary highlighting that this is strongly linked to parental influence, as shown in our work with the Career Industry Council of Australia), there are challenges that may emerge for women in future-proofing their careers.

We know that Australia’s workforce is at the cusp of significant change. In 2030, the majority of the jobs that we will do (85%, according to Dell Technologies) are not yet invented. Yet 75% of the fastest growing careers require STEM skills – qualifications and skills in science, technology, engineering and maths. As we look across Australia’s educational landscape, just 16% of STEM graduates in our nation are female, highlighting the continuing need to lift the profile of STEM careers for female school-leavers among parents, educators, and media personalities.

Fantasies or a new work order?

There were a disproportionate number of ‘fantasy-type’ occupations listed in the AIFS study, things like ICT (‘games developer’, ‘YouTuber’, and ‘blogger’), sports (professional AFL player), and performing arts (actor, ballet dancer). And, not surprisingly, 41% of young people aged 14 and 15 didn’t have a clue as to what they want to do when they are older.

This uncertainty of the future is to be expected, and not only among Gen Z. In an era of multiple careers, lifelong learning, the gig-economy, in which digital disruption is bringing whole sectors to an end, and new jobs are emerging each year (nanotechnology, virtual reality engineers, user-experience managers, data designers etc.), what will the future of work look like?

Our average length of job tenure is now less than three years, and three in ten workers now work casually or contractually (up from one in ten three decades ago). Today’s school leaver will have multiple jobs (17) across many (5+) careers, and part of their reality on the job is that they will constantly be learning. We all will be. By 2030, workers will be spending at least 30% more time on the job learning.

As the workforce shifts (with 32% of our workforce comprised of Gen Z in a decade’s time), so will our mindsets in regards to careers and the future of work. Yes, Gen Zs will bring idealism and self-assuredness, but they will also bring a new wave of entrepreneurialism that might just be what we need to face disruption and manage change. They, and we all, will need to increase our level of critical thinking, problem solving, and digital skills as we move towards this new reality.

About Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, business strategist and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. From the key demographic transformations such as population growth and the ageing workforce to social trends such as changing household structures and emerging lifestyle expectations, from generational change to the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends. 


If you would like to have Eliane Miles speak at your next event, please feel free to get in touch. 

Download Eliane's full speakers pack here and view her show reel video below.


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