Saturday , July 2 2022

Businesses do not meet the promises of flexibility


Flexible working hours are at the top of the list of requirements for young Australians looking for a new job.

But scoring a flexible arrangement is not easier now than it was back in 2001, according to data in the latest Home, Income and Labor Dynamics survey in Australia (HILDA).

YouGov data provided to shows that flexibility is important for four out of five workers under 40 years of age.

“The increased choice of flexibility is a sign that companies across Australia need to keep

up to the demands of modern Australian workers, ”said Levi Aron, spokesman for Deliveroo, who commissioned the research.

“Not only do the majority of Australians value flexibility, but almost half say they would

influenced by good advantages in choosing a company. ”

But if new recruits ask for great flexibility, they do not have much success in achieving it.

The most recent HILDA survey found that one in two respondents disagreed with the statement “I have a lot of freedom to decide when I do my job”.

Professor Mark Wooden, from the faculty of business and economics at the University of Melbourne and director of the HILDA survey, said showed that the data had not changed much since 2001.

“I would think that the only reason you could think we have all this flexibility is changes in the occupational structure,” he said.

“There are far fewer blue collar jobs, where we had to go to the toilet well.” T


Freddy Grant, 33, moved from Footscray in Melbourne, and initially took a big break in the search for more flexibility.

“I was an ESL teacher at Darwin University and that meant I had to be in school every day at 7am to start at 8.30,” he said.

“You've been tied to your location, even when taking sick days up for everyone else, there's a great lack of flexibility.” T

Jobs changed, starting as an intern before getting a full-time job. “Initially, I made a pay cut,” he said.

But he acknowledged that it was not for everyone.

“It's a double sword. I have flexibility with my work, I can work anywhere I like it, but eventually you do very long days, ”he said.

Professor Wooden said that the balance of power had changed in favor of employers to set flexible terms – for example in the case of temporary people – and the related issue of under-employment, where workers are not getting enough work, had grown since the financial crisis. worldwide.

“We have seen a big drop in the number of people working too many hours, but we have seen a big increase in underemployment (since the FIS)” he said.

“Unions would argue that flexibility is all one-sided and favors the employer.”


But Bob Gregory, Professor Emeritus at the School of Social Sciences Research at ANU, told “young people have never had it better in terms of the availability of flexible jobs”, and anyone who wants a flexible job could come from up to one – this may not be the one they want.

“If you want a full-time job – a full-time job you can handle occasionally – well, that's going away,” he said. “The labor market shares our two types of job.

“Full-time jobs are getting more full-time – when you want flexibility, then you have to find it in the part-time labor market.” T

Obviously, some people want flexibility. YouGov data from Deliveryroo matches other data from Finder comparison site. It found that 56 per cent of respondents wanted flexible working hours or flexible workplace arrangements.

Female respondents valued the greatest flexibility, with 64 per cent expressing a preference, compared to men at 47 per cent.

Fred Schebesta, co-founder of, said businesses had the responsibility to be flexible.

“Creating a truly flexible working environment in terms of how, where and when people work is key to retaining talent and releasing more productivity,” he said.

“But flexibility is much more than just giving people freedom to work outside 9 am-5pm; it's about providing for your team's needs and creating programs that are meaningful to them. ”


According to the FlexCareers Workplace Flexibility Report 2018, 67 per cent of respondents said that having flexible working arrangements would affect their ability to progress their career or be considered for promotion.

Mr Schebesta said that she was concerned that people thought that having flexibility could have a negative impact on their progress.

“People should not have to worry about blocking their career progress if they need more flexibility,” he said.

“We all have lives and families and commitments outside of the workplace. If businesses are too rigid and do not allow flexibility, they will suffer a boring working culture. ”

David Ross is a freelance finance writer. Continue with the conversation @FakeDavidRoss

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