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Kiwis prefer flexible working

Posted by Denise on 6 May 2011 | 0 Comments

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We’ve all seen in recent times how the differing needs, motivators and workplace expectations of today's inter-generational workforce have been a catalyst for workplace change, including flexible working.  

When workers were scarce, the need to recruit talent from a wider pool gave rise to flexible working strategies. However with the tighter job market over the past few years, the pendulum has swung back somewhat, with fewer flexible working opportunities having been on the table.   With the job market picking up again, I’m hearing murmurs  from employers that they are starting to experience difficulty in finding  the skilled workers they need.  The pendulum is swinging back, which means employers once again need to rethink their employment offering.

The latest Watercooler poll on revealed that Kiwis rate flexibility in their working hours far more than Friday night drinks. An overwhelming 61% of respondents listed flexible working hours as their favourite non-monetary job perk.

The poll, which asked respondents what their favourite non-monetary employment benefit would be, found that after flexible working hours, 28% of Kiwis would like the chance to take training and development courses, 6% want Friday night drinks, and just 5% chose subsidised lunches.

Technology has enabled employers to offer more in the way of flexible working. Portable workstations, smartphones and remote access mean that employees are now able to log on and work from home or in different offices.

"Firms that tailor their employee benefit schemes to meet the individual needs of their employees are also likely to see increased levels of engagement and motivation. The perfect package is not just about pay and the more firms recognise this, the more they are likely to succeed in attracting, retaining and motivating good staff" comments Janet Faulding, General Manager of SEEK New Zealand.

For companies where pay increases have been off the agenda, or who aren’t able to match higher market salary levels, flexible working is a way to level the playing field in attracting, engaging and retaining quality staff. 

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