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Half Full-Timers Would Like Flexible Working

July 11 2008 - A survey of full-time employees across 29 industry sectors by Brisbane-based HR and Change Management consultants Astor Levin found that almost a half (49%) would favour flexible working arrangements. 31% indicated they would use it now and 18% said they would use flexible working at a future time. In fact, 39% of the workforce already use flexible work arrangements.

Recent projections indicate that over the next 5 years Australian employers will face a deficit of around 195,000 workers. Astor Levin consider that employers offering flexible work arrangements will be more attractive to job seekers than those who do not. Yet, according to the consultancy firm, many business owners think that seeing every member of staff busily working away (or appearing to busily work away) at their desks every day of the working week indicates productivity or commitment. There is also the issue of controlling the activities of employees who are not sitting in the same building. Astor Levin senior consultant Elissa Faint recommends the following actions for employers whot are still stuck in this 'old way' of thinking:

  • work out if there is an advantage to offering flexible work arrangements (through eg staff surveys/exit interviews)
  • determine the organisation’s goals and whether offering flexibility would have a positive or negative effect
  • evaluate the cost impact (including health and safety and legal/insurance implications)
  • get ‘buy-in’ to the concept from the management team

When organisations have adopted flexible work arrangements they must ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place. They should choose who goes on to flexible arrangements on the basis of their work and productivity records and the program should be run (at least initially) on a trial basis.

According to Elissa Faint:

"The current scarcity of employees in many industry sectors means that employers must take a close look at what they are offering their workforce - if flexible working arrangements would allow them to attract and retain the best candidates they should certainly be considering introducing this to maintain their competitive advantage."

Astor Levin are holding a series of workshops in Brisbane on change management and equipping managers for change, the first of which is being held on 29th July (more details at

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