They say variety is the spice of life and that it’s needed to keep life interesting. This same principal applies to the working life. A change in work hours, work patterns and work location can all be considered a driver for attracting and retaining Australian employees.

A recent study has shown that only 13% of Australian employers have strategies and frameworks in place to implement flexible working conditions for employees, yet a whopping 81% of employees look for this in a company whilst job searching.

It is also apparent that 58% of parents would choose flexible working arrangements over a pay rise of 5% – that’s right, they would rather spend extra quality time with their family than be able to pay an extra 5% off their mortgage each year. No shock here.

These stats mean that flexible working arrangements are no longer a luxury that employers can offer but rather a necessity for employers to attract and retain top talent.

Now, I know you have questions about when, why and how flexi working arrangements apply, so below are a list of things you may want to consider.

When can an employee request flexible working conditions?

Employees that have worked with you for at least 12 months and;

  • Are responsible for the care of a child who is school aged or younger (eg. Parent or guardian)
  • Are a carer under the Carer Recognition Act 2010
  • Have a disability
  • Are 55 years old or older
  • Are experiencing domestic violence, or
  • Provide care or support to a member of their household who requires it

Benefits of your organisation having flexible working arrangements;

  • Attractive to potential new talent
  • Helps to retain current talent
  • Greater employment engagement and productivity
  • Helps you meet your obligations to avoid discrimination against older employees, employees with disabilities, and employees with family responsibilities
  • Results in positive effects on the bottom line of the business due to less staff turnover and time wasted rehiring
  • Increases the organisations diversity and inclusivity

Challenges your organisation may encounter when implementing flexible working arrangements;

  • Some industries can be more difficult to introduce flexi arrangements than others (eg. retail or hospitality)
  • It can be difficult to keep track of employees and their productivity
  • Arranging meetings with employees may become more difficult
  • Managing performances fairly may be more challenging
  • Building the company culture can be difficult when employees aren’t always working together

The benefits of offering flexible working arrangements in your organisation far outweigh any of the challenges you may face. Maybe it’s time to start considering what flexibility your company want to offer.

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