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:
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.