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Australians demand flexibility in the workplace

Australian companies need to implement a more balanced working environment in order to keep staff satisfied, a new study has found.

Flexible WorkplaceThe study, commissioned by the Diversity Council Australia (DCA), has found that flexibility is the most important employment factor, with 50 percent of parents and 39 percent of non-parents placing it at the top of their list of priorities.

Companies that fail to keep up with expectations about work-life balance are at risk of lower productivity and higher staff turnover, with almost one in five employees stating that they had considered resigning in the last six months due to lack of flexibility.

The research highlights the need for companies to make organisational changes in order to move towards a more productive workplace, according to DCA’s Acting Research Director, Lisa Annese.

“We need strategies to move from policy to practice, the research findings highlight the fact that management practice at the employee level on issues like part-time work has to change significantly,” Ms Annese says.

The study also found that mangers with children were consistently rated as better managers and were more understanding of the need to maintain a work-life balance, with 51 percent of employees reporting greater work-life satisfaction while working under a manger with care giving responsibilities.

This finding appears to challenge the popular view that managerial positions and care giving responsibilities don’t mix, according to Ms Annese.

“(The findings) indicate that skills developed by being a parent should be more highly valued at work,” says Ms Annese.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke

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