Working from home just two days per week can save a person $860 a year in travel costs, a new report suggests.

As COVID-19 forced the nation into lockdown, it led to changes in how we worked and where.

A new study by the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council (IPC) found time and cost savings, greater productivity and increased flexibility were some of the benefits of remote working.

It saved an average of one hour and 17 minutes each day in travel time as well as a reported 13 per cent increase in productivity.

The streets of Sydney's CBD during lockdown when many employees were forced to work from home. Picture: Toby Zerna

The streets of Sydney's CBD during lockdown when many employees were forced to work from home. Picture: Toby ZernaSource:News Corp Australia

However, the study, which surveyed 1500 remote workers, found collaboration and social isolation were key challenges in working from home.

As restrictions continue to ease, the report suggested remote workers want a hybrid model in the future – where they can work two to three days from home – to combine the best aspects of on-site and remote working.

Jobs and Investment Minister Stuart Ayres said while the NSW Government encouraged employees to spend more time in the office, it expected long-term changes to how the working week took shape.

“This has been an incredibly tough time with huge upheaval and change for the NSW workforce,” he said.

A new study suggests people can save $860 a year by working from home for two days per week. Picture: iStock

A new study suggests people can save $860 a year by working from home for two days per week. Picture: iStockSource:Supplied

“The IPC’s report looks into what we learned from the experience and how it could affect the future of work.”

IPC Member Steve Sammartino said the report showed the pandemic sparked a cultural shift, with more employees and businesses wanting to continue working remotely.

“The biggest benefit is the time we save from commuting, which on average is more than an hour a day. Reducing traffic congestion makes life better for everyone, even people who don’t work remotely,” Mr Sammartino said.

The report found a 13 per cent increase in productivity for remote workers. Picture: File image

The report found a 13 per cent increase in productivity for remote workers. Picture: File imageSource:News Limited

“But COVID-19 pushed remote working to an unhealthy extreme, with a lot of work unable to be done remotely. It can get lonely, and collaboration is difficult.”

“In the future, NSW workers want the best of both worlds – a hybrid of remote and on-site work. Cities and offices will be buzzing again, and central business districts will be crucial for collaboration, innovation, and consumption.”