Has your workplace adopted flexible hours?
It is important for employers to be aware that the Employment Relations Act is now amended and gives workers the legal right to ask for flexible working arrangements and an employer needs to have strong grounds to refuse the request.
Two-thirds of workers would consider leaving their current job if offered a comparable one with greater flexibility according to a recent survey undertaken by recruitment firm OCG and diversity consultants Divertas.
The changes are in line with world-wide trends with workers wanting more choice over when and where they work. This does not mean working fewer hours and hours can still be formally regulated, but with the virtual world it is now possible for many workers to be set up at home and fit hours around family and other commitments.
The survey showed that financial services were the leading sectors for flexible work, primarily banks and government. These sectors are dominated by female workers but the It sector which is 80 percent male dominated is also at the forefront with flexible working arrangements.
Key findings from the report are:
- Only 28% of respondents have formal flexible working arrangements.
- Of those currently on a formal flexible working arrangement 69% were female with ‘caring for family members’ being the primary reason for needing flexibility.
- 46% of workers in the 31-45 year age group work flexibly.
- 80% of respondents stated work-life balance as a key benefit for flexible working, followed by 57% improved physical and mental well-being, and 48% the ability to balance caring responsibilities with work obligations.
- 49% of Millennials (Generation Y or the Net Generation) stated pursuing personal hobbies as the primary reason for wanting flexibility.
- The number one barrier in applying for flexible working arrangements is an organisational culture of ‘presenteeism’ or the need to be “seen at work”, versus output.
- However those companies who have embraced flexible working report an impressive 71% positive impact on employee commitment and engagement, and as a result increased loyalty and staff retention.