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Flexibility remains the biggest drawcard for employees

Employers | | 2 min read

Student woman during E-Learning on laptop at home

According to the MetLife 2022 Australian Employee Benefits Trend Study*, 56% of employees consider flexible working arrangements a ‘must have’ employee benefit. This has increased from 47% in 2019. The same study reveals that employees who feel they have a flexible workplace are two times more likely to be satisfied in their job compared to those who don’t have a flexible workplace.

It’s important for employers to recognise that flexibility means different things to different employees. Even for roles that can’t be done offsite, there are ways to offer employees flexibility that will help reduce stress and burnout by promoting a better work/life balance.

The Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency provides advice about how to offer flexibility in scheduled roles:

  • Give employees the ability to design their own rosters with remote access through rostering and shift-swapping applications.
  • Allow flexible start and finish times.
  • Combine and share roles – for example, employees could work four days in an operational role and one day in a role that allows for remote working.

Defining and promoting flexible working arrangements

The best way for employers to understand what flexibility means for their employees is to ask them what would help improve their overall wellbeing. While some employees may want to work from home part time  or all of the time, others may prefer being able to choose working hours that fit with their responsibilities and lifestyle, or having the option to purchase additional leave.

For workplaces that can support it, there’s evidence to suggest that moving to a four-day work week may be an effective way to increase job satisfaction and reduce employee turnover, without having a significant impact on productivity or revenue.^

Regardless of which types of flexibility options an employer chooses to offer its employees, the key to success is having clear and open lines of communication. This will help employees understand the value of the benefits they’re offered and give them a way to find out more. 

*Online studies were commissioned by MetLife and conducted by independent researcher Little Triggers. The employer survey included 329 respondents with benefits decision-makers and influencers at Australian-based companies with at least two employees. The employee survey included 1,023 respondents with a mix of full-time and part-time employees at Australian-based companies. Representative sample across age, gender, industry, geography and company size.
^4 Day Week Global, 4 day week pioneering pilot program a huge success, new research reveals, 30 November 2022
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