Public service bosses say they would be more supportive of having staff work from home in the future, according to findings from a new survey of federal bureaucrats.
Australian Public Service employees have also reported working from home has made them more productive, given them more time with their families and let them work more independently.
Thousands of federal bureaucrats have shifted from office buildings and worked remotely since agencies decided to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading through workplaces.
About 64 per cent of APS staff were working from home on August 11, according to the public service commission.
A survey of 6000 bureaucrats, conducted by the University of NSW and Central Queensland University in partnership with the Community and Public Sector Union in July, showed most staff had found advantages to the change.
The findings also showed the impact of COVID-19 on workloads inside the public service, as more than a quarter of bureaucrats said they worked longer hours during the pandemic.
While previous studies of working from home found managers resisted remote work, the latest survey flagged a change in attitudes among public service bosses.
Almost two-thirds of managers said they would be more supportive of employees working from home in the future, a result that UNSW Canberra researcher Sue Williamson said was significant.
"The pandemic has wiped away a whole lot of resistance from managers as they see that their teams are productive and that the work can still go on," she said.
Despite the result, many staff told the survey their bosses still resisted working from home.
"There's still a bit of a disconnection there between managers supporting it and what employees perceive," Dr Williamson said.
"Employees are still thinking 'right, my manager still doesn't like this'. So that was quite a strong undercurrent as well."
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More than one third of managers said their staff had been more productive while working from home, and 90 per cent said productivity had improved or remained the same.
Dr Williamson said the survey found public servants had enjoyed the lack of commutes to work and reported having more time for family and caring responsibilities.
"All of these factors are leading them to say they want to work from home not five days a week, but for a good part of the week once the pandemic is over," she said.
Two thirds of employees would like to keep working some or most of their hours from home each week, and more than 90 per cent expect their productivity would be greater if they can continue to work from home.
While staff reported greater working hours because of tasks responding to the pandemic, some reported that they worked longer because they had lost track of time.
Dr Williamson said there few differences between genders in the survey's findings.
Other results showed the costs of working from home, as staff reported that networking and personal interaction were negatively impacted.
Almost a quarter of public servants said they were less able to contact or collaborate with colleagues and that it was more difficult to mentor and coach others.
CPSU national secretary Melissa Donnelly said the survey confirmed union members' messages that before the pandemic working from home requests were too often dismissed due to concerns about productivity and supervision.
"But the last few months have shown that the APS can excel with flexible workplace arrangements," she said.
"Our members want to see more working from home arrangements in the future, for those employees who wish to access it.
"We all have different needs, and different lives, and working from home can help mend the gap between work and home.
"This pandemic shows that the old idea that working from home is sitting on the sofa or sleeping in is wrong. Our nation has kept moving and responding to this crisis, with most people working from home."
An APS commission spokesperson said while working from home was not new for the public service, the last four months had shown agencies could work remotely at scale.
"This has been critical to support the health and wellbeing of the APS workforce during COVID-19 restrictions, and ensure continuity of government and providing services to the community," the spokesperson said.
"The APS will take the insights gained and practices adopted during this time to shape the way we work."
Researchers will release a full report on the survey findings in September.