2016 Australian Communities Forum Recap

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Last Thursday, McCrindle Research and R2L&Associates were proud to present the Sydney Australian Communities Forum (ACF) at Customs House in Sydney. The ACF featured 15 brilliant speakers and 4 jam-packed sessions.

 

We began the day with tea and coffee on arrival before kicking off our first session, which focused on the research results from the Australian Communities Trends Report into Australia's not-for-profit sector. Before we launched into the findings we received a warm welcome from the honourable Catherine Cusack MLC, Parliamentary secretary to the Premier of NSW, and Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, Deputy Lord Mayor on behalf of our principal event sponsor, the City of Sydney.


SESSION 1 - introduction

Mark McCrindle opened Session 1 with an introduction to Australia's generational landscape and gave a snapshot of the key factors influencing Australian communities and some surprising findings from the just-completed Australian Communities Report. Mark provided an overview of giving in Australia, indicating that 4 in 5 Australians give financially to charities / not-for-profits, and that 1 in 4 give at least once a month.


McCrindle Team Leader of Analytics, Annie Phillips continued to share about the quantitative insights from the research, identifying the top 7 causes Australians support (Children's charities, medical research, animal welfare, disaster response in Australia, disability, homelessness and mental health), the 5 charity essentials and the top communication channels. Annie also provided an explanation of the Net Promotor Score (29) and Net Culture Score (21) for the sector, which were both very high.


Sophie Rention, Research Executive at McCrindle then communicated some of the key qualitative findings from the Australian Communities Trends Report. Sophie highlighted the key blockers (e.g. complex giving process) and enablers (e.g. personal connection) to charitable giving for Australians, as well as the next steps for charities including creating multi-tiered levels of engagement, community building, effective communication of results and fun and engaging experiences. 


We then heard from John Rose, principal at R2L&Associates about what this research means for community organisations and how they can best respond to the findings. In his insights and applications John reminded our delegates that in the midst of changes in the marketplace, trust and relevance is essential. John then presented 5 key issues for charities to keep in mind when engaging with the ever-changing supporter which included aligning, defining, communicating, engaging and leading.

Each of our delegates also received a copy of The Australian Communities Trends Infographic which contains the top line findings from the national study into Australian giving and how charities can engage.

 

SESSION 2 - keynotes

After a networking break over morning tea Eliane Miles, Research Director at McCrindle shared an engaging keynote presentation on Leading teams and managing change in transformative times. In the post linear, post literate and post logical workforce, Eliane reminded us that to engage and inspire our workplaces we need to ensure a culture of contribution, challenge and celebration within our teams. To attract and retain, to lead and inspire, we need to cultivate authenticity. 


Our next keynote, Josh Hawkins emphasised the importance of creativity in social media and marketing campaigns. Josh showed us that creative and fun campaigns are the ones that get cut through. Josh also inspired us to be authentic with our marketing and leadership to under 30's. Through humour, engaging videos and key takeaways, Josh's presentation reminded us that when you "Give someone a task you'll get what you ask for". But when you "Give them a vision you'll get more than you could ever ask for". 


Our final keynote speaker before lunch was Ivan Motley, found of .id The Population Experts. Specialising in using data to inform decisions and shape the future, Ivan and his team talked us through how analytics can shape the quality of education, housing, health, the environment and education. Using some practical case studies, the id. team showed us why we should be using local data to understand our communities, and how information and data can help transform communities.


SESSION 3 - streams

Stream 1: Understanding Australian Communities

In this stream Geoff Brailey, Research Executive at McCrindle began by giving an overview of the next generation of volunteers and donors, and tips on how to engage and motivate them. This was followed by Nic Bolto who encouraged us to do the hard work as leaders and how to effectively implement insights in organisations. Our last stream speaker for this session was James Ward, a Director at NBRS Architecture who showed us, through a case study, how understanding spaces and building communities can help to improve people's lives.

Stream 2: Engaging Australian Communities

In Stream 2, McCrindle Team Leader of Communications Ashley McKenzie began this session by giving practical tips and insights on how to communicate complex data in message saturated times. Following on was Salvation Army officer Bryce Davies who shared how The Salvation Army build community in areas of social challenge by creating communities focused on respect, encouragement and belonging. Our final stream 2 speaker Greg Low, co-founder of R2L&Associates gave us five essentials to make your next marketing or fundraising campaign thrive.


SESSION 4

Following afternoon tea and some great networking, we gathered back together to hear from our last two speakers, Caitlin Barrett from Love Mercy and Andy Gourley from Red Frogs. 


Caitlin Barrett, CEO of the Love Mercy Foundation kicked off our afternoon session by telling us the engaging story of how Love Mercy was founded after Australian Olympian met Ugandan Olympian and former child soldier Julius Achon. After sharing the vision and mission of Love Mercy, Caitlin shared how they engage the community through telling personal stories, the importance of finding the right audience for the right story and telling the right details to provide an experience.  


Our last speaker for the day was Andy Gourley, founder and director of Red Frogs Australia. After having founded Red Frogs in 1997, Red Frogs is now the largest support network in Australia for Schoolies, festivals and universities. Through the use of engaging stories and hard-hitting realities, Andy effectively communicated how Red Frogs was founded and the crucial role they play in safeguarding vulnerable young people at events like Schoolies and festivals.  



We would like to thank all of our speakers and delegates for making the 2016 Australian Communities Forum a fantastic event. A big thank you to our sponsors, The City of Sydney, Pro Bono Australia, Hope 103.2 and ConnectingUp as well for your support in making this event happen.

What attendees will hear at the Australian Communities Forum 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Australian Communities Forum is happening again in Sydney on Thursday 13th October 2016.

Attendees are in for an excellent, informative and interactive day. View the full program and purchase your tickets here.

Here is an overview of what attendees can expect to hear at the event.

Keynote speakers

MARK MCCRINDLE | Principal, McCrindle Research

Understanding Australian Communities

In this opening session, Mark McCrindle will give a snapshot of the key factors influencing Australian communities and some surprising findings from the just-completed Australian Communities Report. Annie Philips, Team Leader of Analytics at McCrindle, will give an overview of the key insights that came from the national surveys and a statistical overview of giving and community engagement in Australia. Sophie Renton, Research Executive at McCrindle who managed the qualitative components of this national study, will reveal the attitudes, perceptions and priorities of Australians towards not-for-profit organisations. Finally, John Rose, principal at R2L and partners of the Australian Communities Research will discuss what this means for community organisations and how they can best respond to the findings and engage with the ever-changing supporter.


ELIANE MILES | Research Director, McCrindle Research

Leading teams and managing change in transformative times

The volunteer base of community organisations, like the workforce itself, is ageing and fast approaching the biggest intergenerational leadership transfer ever. Over the next decade, the proportion of Baby Boomers in the workforce will halve, while the number of Generation Y and Z workers will more than double. In this session Eliane will give an overview of each generation in the workforce and some analysis of their needs and expectations, as well as strategies to manage change, inspire innovation and create a collaborative and adaptive organisation.


JOSH HAWKINS | Founder, Hi Josh

Social media and under 25s; Connecting, leading and engaging

Josh is a social media expert, having received over 50 million views in the last year from his creative and engaging content. Additionally, he also works with the youth and young adults in his community and holds unique insights into how to connect with this generation of young people. In this session Josh will discuss how to create engaging social media campaigns and how to connect, lead and engage Generations Y and Z.


IVAN MOTLEY | Founder, id.

Demographic trends, future forecasts and how communities can be transformed through data

Ivan Motley is the founder of .id, the population people, specialists in demographics and experts in using data to inform decisions and shape the future. Ivan is passionate about communities and how analytics can shape the quality of their education, housing, health, environment and recreation. In this session, Ivan will share the key demographic trends shaping New South Wales and deliver a future forecast for Australia’s largest state and share case studies to show how information and data can help transform communities.


CAITLIN BARRETT | Founding CEO, Love Mercy Foundation

The Love Mercy Story

Caitlin is the CEO of Love Mercy, a foundation created by dual Olympian Eloise Wellings, to empower communities in Northern Uganda to overcome poverty caused by the horrors of war. In this session Caitlin will tell the story of how Love Mercy was founded, the inspiring work they are doing in Northern Uganda and how so many local Australians have been motivated to support global needs.


ANDY GOURLEY | Founder & CEO, Red Frogs

From idea to international; The inspiring Red Frogs Story

Andrew Gourley is the Founder and CEO of Red Frogs Australia which he started in 1997 after seeing the need to safe guard teenagers and young adults. Red Frogs is now the largest support network in Australia for schoolies, festivals and universities students. Currently the Schoolies program is located in 17 different locations around Australia and coordinates over 4000 volunteers to run. In this final session, Andy will share how an idea transformed into reality and has grown and developed to an international program run in countries such as Canada, UK, South Africa, New Zealand, and Poland.

Stream 1; Understanding Australian Communities

GEOFF BRAILEY | Research Executive, McCrindle

Understanding the next generation of volunteers and donors

A specific area of focus in the 2016 Australian Communities Report is analysis of volunteers and supporters aged under 30. In this ession, Geoff Brailey, McCrindle Research Executive will share the findings as well as give practical insights on engaging young people in community organisations and developing the leadership capacity of the next generation of staff and volunteers.


NIC BOLTO | Executive Coach and consultant

From information to application; Putting the insights to work

Nic Bolto is an executive coach and consultant, bringing expertise to the acquisition of goals that are important to organisations, to charities and to their donors. This session will draw from Nic’s expertise in working with many clients and highlight the cost of not applying insights learnt, and ways in which research findings and business insights can be effectively applied and implemented.


JAMES WARD | Director, NBRS Architecture

How architecture can build social capital

James is a Director of NBRS Architecture, an architectural firm committed to innovation in the design of life changing environments. James will outline the case study of their ‘Tiny Homes’ project backed by the research paper BISI Affordable Habitats, as well as how understanding spaces and building communities can help to improve people’s lives.


Stream 2; Engaging with Australian Communities

ASHLEY MCKENZIE | Team Leader, Communications

Communicating complex data in message saturated times

In an era of message-saturation, the challenge for organisations is to deliver quality content that will cut through the noise. In this session, Ashley McKenzie, who leads the communications strategy at McCrindle, will share tips and tactics on how communicate complex data and engaging messages to motivate and inspire audiences.


BRYCE DAVIES | Officer, The Salvation Army

Building community in areas of social challenge

As a Salvation Army officer for 22 years, Bryce will use his vast experience from working on the Bridge program focusing on Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation in both Adelaide and Brisbane, to heading up an inner city drop in space in Fortitude valley in Brisbane to share practical tips and advice on how to develop dynamic and functional communities in areas of social challenge.


GREG LOW | Co-founder, R2L

The 5 essentials to make your next marketing or fundraising campaign thrive

Greg is an expert at helping not for profit organisations with their communication – from fundraising through to brand strategy and visual communications. In this session, Greg will share how organisations can build successful fundraising, marketing and communications campaigns to build better relationships with their stakeholders and supporters.


PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS HERE

The Program


The Australian Communities Infographic


Creating a culture of wellbeing: Leading in times of Change

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

That our world is changing and shifting is not surprising – it’s the key definer of our times. On the one hand the centripetal force of change can push us towards constant innovation. We can be invigorated by the newness around us, so that our means of communication, the way we work and the spaces in which we engage are ever-evolving.

On the other, the speed and scale of change can leave us feeling overwhelmed as we work out how to navigate and juggle complex personal and professional demands.

As leaders, we often find ourselves leading teams of individuals immersed in the rapid uptake of change. Our teams respond to this change in different ways – some with a type of change fatigue in which new initiatives are merged with the old, rather than looking to new horizons. Others respond with change apathy, checking out altogether.

 In these fast-moving times, how do we lead ourselves, our teams, and our organisations through times of change?

Leadership author John C Maxwell once said that in order to lead others, we must first learn to lead ourselves. He also advised, “If you’re leading and no one is following, you’re just out for a walk.” Leadership begins by looking inward, rather than outward. It begins by taking a look at your personal values alignment, learning style, and wellness gauge.

  • Your values alignment: How do your personal passions and strengths align with the ethos and values of the organisation that you are a part of? Recognising areas where your personal passions align with your organisation’s passions will give a greater sense of energy and purpose to your work.
  • Your learning style: How do you learn, get inspired, and stay motivated? As leaders, it’s important to stay fresh by identifying sources of personal inspiration – it could be simple things like reading content that inspires, carving out down-time, or networking with leaders who are just that one step ahead of where you are.
  • Your wellness gauge: How are you tracking in terms of your energy levels and personal wellbeing? Busy lives leave little space for margin and it’s more important than ever before to carve out time to be adaptable and flexible. Manage your screen time and bring in more green time, watch your health and nutrition, and create some space for reflection and deep thinking.

The leadership styles that the new generations respond to are those that embody collaboration, authenticity, mutual understanding and empowerment. When it comes to building resilient teams, it’s not just about processes and policies, but about helping individuals thrive in complex and ever-changing business environments. Our research has identified several key drivers among young workers that motivate them towards engagement:

  • The drive for complexity and challenge: Today’s career-starters are full of innovative ideas towards problems and thrive on identifying solutions. Creating space for the cultivation of ideas and innovation is key not only for better organisational performance but strong employee engagement. When was the last time you gave your team permission to step up to the challenge of solving your most critical problem?
  • The drive for variability and flexibility: Empowering your team to take control of their workload provides them with the opportunity to structure their day towards their most productive times and builds greater levels of team trust. When team members are engaged with the vision and have the skills they need to drive the team forward, hands-off management is always better than micro-management.
  • The drive for community and belonging: In an era where movement is a constant and flux is inevitable, workplace communities have become 21st century families. Establishing a team culture where individuals themselves are celebrated (not just their work-related wins) is critical to developing work-place tribes.

Organisational change is up to all of us, and moving ahead as an organisation involves directing individuals at all levels into forward horizons by leveraging the team’s combined power for innovation. We each lead by example by creating the initiatives and by driving the culture.

In our work with hundreds of organisations across Australia, we have identified several consistent characteristics evident within organisations that have thrived in times of change. These include:

  • Organisations who scan the external horizon. By understanding the current demographic, economic, social, and technological environment, leadership teams are able to make robust and solid decisions that guide their organisation towards its future. While the future can seem uncertain, getting a grasp on the current environment adds confidence to the decision-making process that is needed to stir a ship in a new direction.
  • Organisations who commit to being the ‘only ones’ at what they do. We consistently watch organisations position themselves alongside their competitors to understand what the market is offering. Yet it’s so easy to get caught up in ‘keeping up’ that we lose track of the unique abilities that only our teams can bring. Look inside at who is on your team before looking outward to what you can bring. Commit to carving out a niche that is true to who you are, not what your competitors are offering.
  • Organisations who put their people first. Organisational leadership is at its best when people are the priority. There are countless ways to create value for individuals within your teams (50 Best Places to Work 2016 features just some of them!), and when people thrive, not only is there lower turnover and a larger applicant base, but client relationships are at their peak, there is better innovation, greater productivity, and more sustained long-term business growth.

-Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle.

At the Australian Communities Forum 2016 on October 13th she will give an overview of each generation in the workforce and some analysis of their needs and expectations, as well as strategies to manage change, inspire innovation and create a collaborative and adaptive organisation.

Purchase your ticket here


Lifestyle trends & property market – Mark McCrindle interview

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle chats to Kevin Turner about some of the lifestyle trends and their impact on where and how we live and the obvious impact on property.

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

Kevin: You might recall a couple of weeks ago, I chatted to Mark McCrindle and we were talking about the Urban Living Index. Mark joins me once again. Good morning, Mark.

Mark: Good morning, Kevin. Great to be with you.

Kevin: Thanks again for your time. Mark, a very interesting conversation we had a couple of weeks ago on the show about the Urban Living Index. I wanted to come back and discuss that with you again.

Just a bit of fun now, Mark. Let’s have a look at some of the lifestyle trends that we’re expecting to see this year, 2016.

Mark: Probably one of those is just how we work. We’re continually seeing changes in our lifestyles. We’ve seen teleworking. People work a bit more from home. People work through technology. We see even the new developments now where you have mixed planning. You have residential nearby to business parks or offices, and of course, retail in the mix of that. People want to work and live and play and connect in a community, in an environment where they don’t separate each of those.

One of the trends we’re predicting for 2016, we call it power working, which is the work equivalent of power napping. Power napping is where you sleep in non-traditional times and places. You just have a quick zap. Power working’s a bit like that. We get people now working more on their commute. They’re working in cafes. They’re working before or after work, sometimes in front of another screen, even unwinding at night. Work is not just a nine to five, you’re at the desk, in the workplace phenomena anymore; it’s changed. With apps and devices and technologies and the expectation of quicker response times from clients, we’re going to see continual changes in what work looks like and where it’s done from.

Kevin: Mark, of course, with so many people concentrated, living on the eastern seaboard in our major capital cities, I guess that type of lifestyle change is going to encourage more people to move into some of those regional areas, which will probably have an impact on prices there, do you think?

Mark: That’s right. We’re certainly seeing growth in the regional market because they’re being priced out of the cities, and the price rises in our capitals have been pretty crazy. People are saying, look, the regions are not isolated anymore. You have great lifestyle. You have excellent affordability. Of course, the technology, the infrastructure out there is fantastic.

You can get out of the rat race of the city, take a bit of a breather on the mortgage, get some pretty nice lifestyle for what you get out of that house from the city, and of course, the kids have some good schools. Again, the cafe lifestyle and the technology, even running a small business working from home, all of that is possible pretty much anywhere in Australia now, not just in the cities alone.

Kevin: Mark is one of the authors of the Urban Living Index, which we mentioned. I might just touch on that if I may. By the way, the website for that is UrbanLivingIndex.com. A great report. Mark, it pretty much focused on Sydney, but one of the interesting points I noticed is that the high density living in Sydney seems to be increasing. If you look at detached housing around Australia, I think the percentages are lower in Sydney. Are more people preferring to live in more high-density areas?

Mark: Yes, that’s correct. There’s this little demographic measure called the center of population of a city, which is the point in the city where in the whole catchment of the city where you have as many people west as east, as many people north as south. Now, in our eastern capitals, that center of population was continually heading west because the urban sprawls were heading further and further west. Interestingly, in Sydney – and we’re going to see the same thing in the Brisbane market – it stopped; it’s not heading further west. That’s because for each new housing development that is taking place in the urban sprawl further out, you have an infield development, a densification development to the east of that center.

It’s interesting that it seems as if the center of population, the sprawl is slowing because people are now opting for those densified living options. That is because of the location. They don’t want to travel further and further into the city or into the lifestyle areas on those motorways or public transport. At some point, it’s so far out that they say, “You know what? I think I’ll opt for a different style of living, a vertical option rather than just that house with the block out the back.”

Kevin: Yes, if you look at the map that’s on the UrbanLivingIndex.com website, if you look at the spread of the population, I wonder what sort of story it tells between that northern part of Sydney up to Newcastle and the southern part going down to Wollongong as to whether we’re going to see in-fill there. You’re right. You can see it looks almost out of proportion moving out toward the west.

Mark: That’s right. In Sydney’s market, we are now seeing growth in the northwest corridor and the southwest corridor. In other words, where they’re putting in some infrastructure, now we have some metro, some rail lines going, both of those arteries, which really had been devoid of some rail, that is creating some great opportunities and some densification there.

Now in Sydney, we have not just the built-up areas within ten or 15 kilometers of the CBD itself, but now 20 or 30 kilometers away from the CBD, you have these hot spots of densification. You have these 10-, 15-, and now on the plans 20-story residential towers that are around these transport hubs, these interchanges, that are obviously a fair way from the city, but because the shopping centers, the transport hubs, the availability of accommodation, and of course, café lifestyle that goes with that, we’re getting a lot more people opting for that sort of living. In a sense, Sydney becomes a city of cities, and we’re going to see that with all of our 2,000,000+ capitals across Australia.

Kevin: I’ll get you back to talk more about that in some future shows, too, Mark, but I want to thank you for making your time available today. The two websites for Mark are, of course, the UrbanLivingIndex.com website we just mentioned, and there is another one, too, that’s simply called McCrindle.com.au.

Mark, thank you so much for your time.

Mark: You’re very welcome. Thanks, Kevin.

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

ABOUT MARK MCCRINDLE

Mark is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations.

Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair.

His research firm counts amongst its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and his highly valued reports and infographics have developed his regard as a data scientist, demographer, futurist and social commentator.


DOWNLOAD MARK'S SPEAKING PACK HERE

Working from home – is it always the best option?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Working from home can facilitate enormous benefits; allowing more time with family, avoiding long commutes and offering better work-life balance, but is this always the best option? Social researcher Claire Madden gives her thoughts on The Today Show, discussing the benefits and sharing the downside of this growing trend.

While teleworking might have some benefits of flexibility for the individual, it can unintentionally create an isolated wasteland back in the office. It can significantly impact team culture by removing the intangible ingredient of collaboration and spontaneous interactions where some of the greatest innovations are sparked, problems are solved and teams are energised.

With 1 in 12 people working from home, this growing trend is enabled by communication technologies facilitating far greater flexibility, connectivity and mobility. Our research found the top three reasons people work at home are:

  1. Flexibility – to juggle other things, including managing the kids
  2. Improved work-life balance – avoiding that 53 minute commute, which Australians do on average every day for work
  3. Working undistracted – our workplaces can be busy hubs of activity and home can provide a quieter place to think and work – however can be faced with household distractions – like that sudden motivation that overtakes you to put a load of washing on!
Whilst working from home can facilitate these areas of life, it is not necessarily the most productive way to work.  It can be a far more effective use of time to have a quick team meeting to get everyone on the same page, problem solve and generate ideas rather than everyone needing to be kept up to date on an email chain.  Communication technologies can enable greater efficiencies – however they will never be able to replace face to face interaction and collaboration that occurs when teams meet together.

Find out more

The cost of work: What we pay to work

Monday, August 17, 2015

The unemployment rate is rising, but so are the costs of work. And while living costs and house prices have been rising faster than wages, the costs associated with work are also on the way up. From toll roads to public transport costs, a simple cup of coffee to updating work clothes. From childcare costs to tax increases, Australians are paying to work.

A recent 2015 McCrindle Research study of over 540 working Australians reveals that income doesn’t just generate wealth, it also consumes it. Australians are forking out more than ever on transport costs, clothing and food while they are working, significantly reducing their take-home pay. Incurring travel costs associated with work, work-related education expenses, child-care costs, and income tax all further reduce a full-time worker’s take-home pay to less than two thirds of their gross salary.

THE LIFESTYLE COSTS OF WORK

95% of working Australians spend their own money on food and beverages during work times, with almost 3 in 4 Australians (74%) purchasing lunch, morning tea, or coffees when at work or when travelling to/from work at least once per week. More than one fifth of Australians (22%) spend their own money on consumable food items every single day while they are at work.

YOUNGER MALES BUY LUNCH MOST

Males tend to eat out more often, with 27% of male employees purchasing food or beverages at least once per day (compared with 16% of females). The frequency at which employees purchase consumables while at work decreases with age. While 78% of Generation Ys and 77% Generation Xs spend their own money on food and beverages at least once per week, this reduces to 60% for the Baby Boomer Generation.

ALMOST $900 ON LUNCHES PER YEAR

The average Australian employee spends $18.52 on lunches, snacks, and beverages during their workday every week. This takes into consideration the 6% of Australians who don’t spend money on food while they are at work, and ranges to include those who go out more than once a day, some of whom spend over $100 on food and beverages while at work each week. Over a 48-week work year, this average weekly spend accumulates to $889 per year.

THE COST OF FASHION

In an effort to keep up with the latest styles and fashions or simply to avoid wearing the same thing every day, employees spend hundreds of dollars on clothing per year. Australians report spending an average of $320 each year of their own money on clothes they require directly for work. This includes employees across all industries and factors into account those who spend very little, having uniforms supplied, as well as those who purchase corporate apparel.

GETTING TO WORK: THE RISING COST OF CARS

After childcare and tax costs, transport is the greatest expense when it comes to work, with the average Australian spending $99.88 each week on work-related petrol costs, tolls, and/or public transport tickets. While public transport cost increases have been modest, the big challenge for workers has been the rising cost of petrol, tolls and car ownership, and this is particularly relevant for the 2 in 3 Australians (65.5%) who travel to work by private vehicle. The average full time worker spends almost $4,800 per year just on getting to and from work.

UPSKILLING, RETRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE-GAINING

30% of working Australians spent their own money last year on education and training directly associated with their line of work, averaging to $1,936. Overall (accounting for the 70% who didn’t spend any of their own money on employment-related learning), the average Australian worker spends $588.60 per annum of their own money on training, and much of this, where it is retraining for a new career or role, is not tax deductable.

THE CHILDCARE COST CHALLENGE

The Productivity Commission Study into childcare shows the median childcare costs are $7.40 per hour ($74 for a 10 hour day). For those requiring full time childcare for 50 hours per week, this would cost them $370 per week which equates to 22% of the average full time weekly earnings.

A TAXING PROBLEM

The current average full time weekly earnings is $1539.40 per week ($80,049 per annum) which brings this average wage into the third tax bracket (a tax rate of 37 cents per dollar). Based on the 2015-2016 tax schedule this average annual earnings package would attract a tax bill of $16,768.

FOR MANY, IT IS MORE THAN HALF

The average full-time Australian worker who earns $80,049 per annum (current full time adult weekly earnings) is spending $889 of that on lunches, $320 on wardrobe changes, $4,794 on transport costs, $587 on education, $17,760 on child-care (based on 70 hours at average costs) and $16,768 on tax (not including tax deductions). These total work costs add up to $41,118, which is 51% of the average annual gross.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Latest media commentary

Monday, June 15, 2015

As Australia’s leading social researchers, the senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary. From demographic analysis and future forecasts, to communication of key research findings and the identification of social trends, at McCrindle we are passionate about communicating insights in clear, accessible and useable ways.

Here are some the most recent media pieces our research and team have been cited in:


What will adulthood be like for Generation Z?

“McCrindle – whose business is analysing generational trends and forecasts – says generation Z is characterised by five key terms. They are global," through the possibilities of technology, and through pop culture -–movies, music, brands and language changes make their way around the world more quickly and thoroughly than ever before. They are "digital," thanks to the devices through which they live their lives. This generation is distinctly "social" because it gets a great deal of information not from experts but from peers, largely through social media. They are highly "mobile" in the fluidity of their work and housing. And they are uniquely "visual: in terms of how they process their information: YouTube is their search engine of choice, because "they don't want to read an article about something, they want to watch a video about something."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Treechangers flee city for a cheaper home

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said moving to regional areas was now a viable option for buyers who had been priced out to Sydney’s fringes.

“For that extra bit of distance of living in a region, particularly if they can get a job there, someone would cut down on the commute time into the CBD or into Sydney from where they are in the outer ring suburbs,” Mr McCrindle said.

He added that an influx of new developments and infrastructure being built in regional areas was making them more attractive and had contributed to a change in attitude from Sydneysiders, who are now more open to ’going bush’.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


More than a fashion choice, the everyday aesthetics of tattooing

According to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, 22 per cent of Australian men and 29 per cent of women aged 20 to 29 have at least one tattoo.

In a 2013 survey conducted by Sydney-based McCrindle Research, a third of people with tattoos regretted them to some extent, and 14 per cent had looked into or started the removal process. Laser removal has become cheaper and more readily available, but there are serious safety concerns around cheap lasers, poorly-trained operators and the risk of serious burns and scars to clients.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


IVF isn’t a fix-all for those choosing to delay adulthood

From a societal point of view, what worries me is what demographer and social commentator Mark McCrindle refers to as the "safety net syndrome" – the perception held that someone, whether it's the government or medical science, will solve the problems that have arisen because of a person's own choices. When it comes to fertility, that's simply not possible.

There are, however, promising signs that the pendulum is starting to swing back. McCrindle's research indicates that Generation Z is rejecting the "have it all" attitude of the previous generation and is recognising the limitations of science when it comes to fertility.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Victoria’s man drought: Areas where there are more women than men – and vice versa

The female surplus is particularly pronounced in some affluent eastern and bayside suburbs, university locations and “seachange” destinations.

“Females greatly outnumber men in older, established suburbs or places popular with retirees or with aged care homes because they live longer,” social researcher and demographer Mark McCrindle said.

“You also find more women living in locations with female-friendly institutions such as universities, or outer suburban areas with a lower cost of living suitable for single parents.”

“Places where males significantly outnumber females are mainly regional, industrial, farming, fruit picking and military and air force zones. It’s employment-driven,” Mr McCrindle said.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Sydney real estate: Narrowest home on the market expected to fetch upwards of $700,000

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said there was a clear trend of Australians moving away from bigger properties and looking at smaller homes.

“Certainly Australians are responding to smaller properties because the trend has been towards unit and apartment living anyway,” Mr McCrindle said.

“People buying homes have already lived in medium-density housing. A century ago, there were 4.5 people per household in Australia. Now it’s down to 2.6 people per household and the Australian Bureau of Statistics forecasts a drop to 2.5 in the next two decades.”

Mr McCrindle said smaller homes tended to be located in the inner city, where there was an urban environment and a cafe lifestyle.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Gen Y Debt Predicament [IN THE MEDIA]

Wednesday, January 07, 2015
More than 1 in 3 (34%) registered debt agreements belong to 25-34 year olds, making Gen Y the  most likely generation to be in debt, compared to Gen X and their Baby Boomer parents.

Much of the blame is placed on easily accessible personal loans, credit card debt and a generation focused on lifestyle pursuits.

However there is more to it than this and it misunderstands the current realities to put all the blame on Generation Y. The fact is that the traditional expense categories such as food, transport, health and housing costs are higher for younger people today compared to that experienced by their parents at the same age. A generation ago the average house price was 5 times annual average earnings while today the average house price is more than 10 times the average annual full time earnings of $72, 000.

Additionally, Generation Y have new categories of expenses that their parents didn’t have such as education debt, mobile phone costs, internet expenses, tablet devices and online subscriptions. Not only are the costs of living higher, but the earnings have not kept pace. For example, when Baby Boomers graduated from university the average graduate starting salary was equal to the average full time adult wage, while today the average graduate starting salary of $52,000 is $20,000 less than average full time earnings.

But the good news is that their parents’ generation, the Baby Boomers, are the highest net worth generation in Australia’s history and over the next two decades almost 3 trillion dollars of private wealth will be transferred (if it’s not spent!) to the emerging generations.

From House-Hubbies to On-Duty Dads, Australian Fathers are Actively Parenting

Friday, August 23, 2013

Aussie dads are a diverse bunch. From workaholics to house-hubbies, McCrindle Research has crunched the statistics on what fatherhood looks like in 21st Century Australia... including what presents dad should expect to receive this Father’s Day!


A snapshot of fatherhood in Australia


20% of Australia’s population is made up of dads.  There are approximately 4.6 million dads in Australia, with an estimated 2.2 million dads currently with children aged under 18.  Of these, approximately 156,000 are single-parent fathers, who look after 228,000 children, which averages at 1.5 kids for each single dad.


Stay-at-home dads


ABS figures show that in Australia there are approximately 144,000 stay-at-home dads with dependent children. This means that of the 4.4 million dependent children in couple families where one parent is employed full time, 3% have a mother who is employed, while the father is not.


Fatherhood - a later life pursuit


There is certainly a trend of fatherhood becoming a delayed life stage, with the average age of a new father now 33.1 years of age! The Northern Territory and Tasmania are home to our nation’s youngest dads, with the median age of fathers at 31.5 and 31.7 years respectively at the child’s birth. However, Victoria and the ACT have the oldest dads, with a median age of 33.7 years at birth.


Time spent fathering the same... but roles are a-changing


While fathers spend roughly four hours a day caring for their children (the same in 2006 as it was 11 years before in 1997), the role of the father has significantly evolved. In a study conducted by McCrindle Research in 2010, it was uncovered that men under 30 are less likely to be adept at building a cubby house, fixing a tap or a punctured tire, but more likely to be able to change a baby’s nappy, bake a birthday cake, wash clothes and drop the kids off at school. In comparison, mum’s spend 8.5 hours caring for their children, up from just under 8 hours in 1997.


Work hard for the money


Our nation’s men are more likely to feel their work and family responsibilities are out of whack, with 16% saying these are rarely or never in balance (ABS, 2007). This could be due to the fact that men with children do not work any less than men without children – that is, 42 hours per week on average. This shows that while our dad’s are working hard, they still greatly value time with their greatest asset - their children.


Googling the perfect present


Interestingly, Google search trends show “Father’s Day” was one of the most popular searches in Australia... in June! Rather than it being about shoppers getting in early, this shows the globalisation of the day as the “when is Father’s Day” searches peaked in Australia on Sunday June 16 which was America’s Father’s Day and obviously many Aussies were caught unawares, thinking they had missed the day!

For those who got the date right, we can see some interesting trends in what presents people are considering for their dads. By using Google analytics and exploring what Australian’s are googling in the ‘shopping’ category recently, we’ve seen some interesting trends, and the search “gifts for men” and “father’s day gifts” are near the top of the shopping search terms. The top searches in the days before Father’s Day last year were:

  1. GPS navigation devices. This shows that perhaps dads today, though evolving in many ways, still share one fundamental attribute... that is, they’d still rather not stop and ask for directions!

  2. Soccer rose strongly in popularity in Australia and perhaps a dad or two is looking to get on field, with a sporting retailer specialising in soccer supplies at the top of the search list.

  3. Hardware and outdoors supplies rose to the top of the charts.

  4. For the rev-head dad, we also saw a car merchandise suppliers in the top ten.

  5. The traditional ‘socks and jocks’ approach seems to have moved online. In the weeks before Father’s Day 2012 we saw ‘shoe size conversion’ trending in Google search... perhaps dad got some fancy European loafers or German Birkenstocks!


References:

ABS, McCrindle Research, Google Analytics 2012, 2013.


For further demographic analysis and the latest insights, visit our Resources Page.

Working from home: The benefits and the cost

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Working from home: The benefits and the cost - McCrindle ResearchWorking from home is a key employment alternative for growing businesses offering teleworking solutions, emerging entrepreneurs establishing a customer base, and small business owners seeking to minimise administrative overheads.

What are the key advantages and setbacks involved with working from home? For those seeking to take the plunge or weighing up the options, McCrindle Research has recently analysed the lives of 250 ‘work-from-home’ workers, weighing up the pros and cons of the home office setting.

What do you enjoy most about working from home?

Click here to download the full research summary.


Key enjoyment factors: Flexibility and work-life balance


The most significant advantage in working from home for respondents was having the flexibility to juggle other things, reported by almost half (45%) or respondents. Another quarter of respondents felt that in working from home, they were able to create a work-life balance to enjoy life more. 1 in 7 respondents (15%) enjoyed being able to work undistracted from the interruptions present in an office-based working environment, and a further 1 in 8 (12%) felt that the most significant advantage in working from home was being able to take care of their children.

Other reasons that people chose to work from home included decreased commuter stress, lower travel costs, being able to work in solitude, and being their own boss.

“While those who work from home most love the flexibility and work-life balance that it allows,” says social researcher Mark McCrindle, “For 15%, the biggest benefit was being able to work undistracted. Employers should note that while modern workplaces facilitate social interaction, project teams and meetings, the need to work solo and uninterrupted is keenly felt.


Key advantages explored: Flexibility, decreased commuter stress, increased time with family


When explaining these significant advantages and others in working at home instead of an office based environment, participants elaborated on a number of key themes:

Flexibility in working hours was seen as a key advantage:
“The ability to work all hours and unusual hours, doing other non-work things in the home.”
“The flexibility to work when I can, choosing when I work.”

Having less stress due to commuting to and from work was mentioned numerously:
“Less time spent travelling means I have more time to devote to chores and exercise.”
“I don’t have to deal with traffic congestion and save travel time.”

Spending time with family was seen by others as a great positive:
“I can work around family and other commitments, and am able to take more part in raising my son.”
“I work when I want and have more time with my family, and I can eat lunch at home while seeing
my wife and kids.”


The need for social interaction while working from home


When asked to comment on the difference in social interaction between working in an office-based working environment and working from home, 3 out of 5 respondents (58%) noted that they feel some need for increased social interaction.

While working from home does create the difficulties of social isolation for almost 3 in 5 home-workers, 42% never feel this deficiency: “Even when discussing this lack of interaction it was more in a professional, collegiate sense than a purely social sense. This research highlights that the best workplaces are those that provide the opportunities for collaboration and professional interactions, while ensuring that private work spaces are provided. Employers need to think like an extrovert and an introvert in their workspace provisions,” says McCrindle.


Greatest disadvantages: Isolation, distractions and work-life balance


Respondents were asked to name the most significant disadvantage they face in working from home through an open-ended response.

The biggest negative that workers faced in working from home, reported by 22% of respondents, was professional and social isolation:
“Working on my own and only seeing friends and workmates occasionally.”
“Not having other employees to sound ideas and brainstorm with.”
“I am isolated and lonely at times, and do less networking.”

Maintaining a work-life balance was the most significant difficulty according to 15% of respondents: “[There are] no boundaries between home and work life.”
“[I] can’t relax because I know there is work to do. It’s hard to stop.”
“Being on call – people seem to think you are available at any time, including your days off.”

Household distractions were another common thread, reported as most significant by 14% of respondents:
“[I am] too easily distracted by household tasks.
“[I find it difficult] to get into the mindset of ‘working’ at home without distractions.
“The environment is not conducive to working.”

Other common issues included the access and cost of necessary resources (8%) such as documents and technology, the perception that work from home is not actually work (7%), self-motivation (6%), lower income received (4%) when working from home, and poor communication between home and the office (3%).
“I am unable to access other files and lack access to computer systems.”
“The expense of technology and using more utilities (electricity, internet cost, gas for
heating, water).”
“I am trying to justify that I am actually working; the perception by others is that I’m not.”
“[I lack the] motivation to start each day that I work.”
“My income is lower now that I’m working at home.”
“I’m not finding out what has happened during work.”

Still others (1 in 5, 21%) reported no negative experiences with working from home:
“I have really enjoyed [working from home] and think it is the way of the future.”
“I can’t do it often enough – I have found no negatives.”
“There has been no negative for me personally working from home. If anything, I am far more
productive due to less distraction.”


Unexpected costs: office supplies, electricity bills, and household consumption


While over half of respondents (52%) who had worked from home had never incurred any unexpected costs in doing so, the other half of respondents had. 1 in 3 (30%) respondents spent more on office supplies and technology than working in an office environment, 1 in 4 (25%) had incurred higher electricity bills, and 1 in 6 (16%) noticed an increase in food consumption and home goods.


Workplace health and safety issues


While a number of respondents (75%) did not report encountering any workplace health and safety (WHS) issues in working in a home office environment, others were faced with unique concerns:

The main concern respondents faced was with lack of ergonomics in their home office set-up:
“I generally don’t sit at a proper desk so, while not currently causing any problems,
my posture may cause issues in the future.”
“I don’t have proper desk and chair height, and I stay at the desk too long with bad posture.”

Others felt the weight of responsibility when it came to WHS issues:
“I am totally responsible for the health and safety standards and issues in my home, even when
someone comes uninvited.”

Still others reported not taking appropriate breaks as an issue:
“I don’t take appropriate breaks and I lack sleep, working longer than I would in an office.”

The lack of space and unsuitability of the home working environment were other issues:
“I don’t have enough space to work properly.”
“The electrics in the house are not always the best set-up because I don’t have an office, and
the kids can get under the desk playing with cables.”

“With teleworking a growing phenomenon and working from home a key tool of workplace retention, managers not only need to provide for it, but also effectively manage it,” says McCrindle. “This research reveals challenges along with the benefits, with almost half of Australians who work from home incurring some increased costs, and one in four experiencing some workplace health and safety issues.”

Click here to download the full research summary.

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