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It’s the thorn in the side of every business – staff turnover is expensive, interrupts business flow, and slashes productivity.

Each year Australia racks up a $33 billion bill in staff turnover, new Regus data revealed. Yet SMEs in particular can reduce the costly effects of staff turnover by offering more flexible methods of working.

A staggering 77 per cent of those surveyed said they would choose a job over another similar one if it offered flexibility. What’s more, 59 per cent said they would have stayed longer in their last position had flexible working been an option.

Flexible work options can provide a solution to three significant issues: hiring costs, attracting new staff and retaining top workers.

The research also found:

  • 76 per cent of respondents say offering flexible working makes employees more loyal;
  • 60 per cent of workers would actually turn down a job that ruled out flexible working;
  • 59 per cent say they would have stayed longer in their last position had flexible working been an option.

Regus CEO Australia and New Zealand Paul Migliorini, labeled the data a wakeup call for Australian business.

“One of the most significant points from this research is how mainstream the perk of flexible working has become – many respondents are actually choosing their jobs based on how flexible the employer is regarding where and when they work,” Migliorini said.

Sydney based employment law firm Employsure conducted research over December 2013 and early January 2014, and found 76 per cent of Australian workers will consider changing jobs in the coming 12 months. The research also shows that on average Australian employees change jobs every 2 years, compared to an average 4 year tenure of UK employees.

Migliorini added that the process can require a shift in mind-set, particularly when it comes to how you manage your teams, but ignoring the research in this field limits a business in attracting the best employees, and fostering loyalty amongst their workforce.

“The sad fact is many Australian businesses are facing high staff turnover costs, and missing out on the best talent due to outdated and outmoded working practices. Flexi-work, which actually costs less to implement than fixed office working, offers a better work-life balance to existing and prospective employees,” Migliorini said.

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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