Australian workplaces lagging behind with flexible working conditions
According to an independent research firm, Edelman Berland, the amount of people choosing to take on freelance work and work from home is increasing, jumping from around 3.7 million in 2014 to 4.1 million this year. However, workplaces aren't keeping up.
The State of the Flexible Nation report released by Citrix revealed that employees' hopes for flexibility in the workplace aren't being met by their employers.
The study, which asked more than 1,000 workers about what flexible working conditions were available to them at their place of employment, noted that work-from-home options could actually influence Australian employee satisfaction and retention.
Flexible working conditions can also have a big effect on morale in the workplace. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, people who were engaged in full-time work were more likely to take sick leave than those who worked in casual part-time or casual full-time positions. And according to iHR Australia, sick leave and leave of absence costs the Australian economy $28 billion in lost productivity and wages each year.
So, how is Australia doing in terms of flexible working conditions? Pretty poorly, to be perfectly frank. The Herald Sun report made mention of a variety of factors, including:
- Employees want to make the most of flexible working conditions, but they weren't offered any.
- Employees are willing to look for other work that does offer flexible working conditions.
- They could collectively save $108.7 million and 8.2 hours a week if given the opportunity to work from home, saving on costs and time getting to and from work.
With the freelance and small business numbers in Australia growing steadily, it makes sense to allow for more flexibility in the workplace and make use of these creative spaces.