More on Flexible Work

Flexible working arrangements are becoming more of a topic since the Coronavirus pandemic (starting 2020) forced more people to work away from the office, usually in their homes. Some flexibility examples include

. working remotely, shift work, different hours or compress weeks, job sharing, etc

Some Australian statistics before 2020

"...Significantly more women had written formal agreements to work flexible hours than men. In 2017, 833,800 women have written agreements versus 726,700 in 2015. This compares with 749,000 men in 2017 and 685,800 in 2015..."

Australian Bureau of Statistics as quoted by Bianca Hartge-Hazelman 2019

It has been found (including Stanford University studies) that employees who work in a manner that suits them are more productive.

"...there is mounting evidence that flexible working arrangements......have measurable psychological, social and economic impacts - from a reduction in company operating costs to enhanced client and employee satisfaction......showing workers can be as productive in 32 hours as 40, and are less prone to stress-related illnesses or mental illnesses stemming from work...... one in five of our workforce at any point in time is suffering from stress or mental illness..."

Andrew Barnes 2020

Some examples of the positive benefits, especially of working from home, is to reduce time traveling and allowing more time with the family, friends and other interests.
However the main negatives is not setting boundaries around working hours, resulting in excessive hours worked. Sometimes people do more to justify your workplace flexibility.

Some bosses will claim that job flexibility is payment enough when asking for a pay rise!!

A way to calculate how your flexible working arrangement is working is

"...- add up your weekly salary after-tax - minus essential work-related costs such as travel and childcare (after the rebate)......
    - add in your superannuation and any other employee benefits such as insurances and education......
    - divide that figure by the number of hours you are actually working, including such as on days off or time spent on late-night e-mail checking and even logging in on your work system during holidays or weekends.....
    - the end figure will give you your net hourly income for the hours you are actually working....
    - then use the same for the hours you work but are not being paid to work..."

Gemma Dale as quoted by Bianca Hartge-Hazelman 2019

It is important to set boundaries around working hours and work load.

More flexibility

"...The post-war ideal of breadwinner-commuter Homo surburbiensis male is fading with the workforce of people wanting a better balance of work and private life, and the flexibility to manage both; who want working facilities that support to working parents, reflect environmental responsibilities and sustainable procurement, promote more respectful working relationships with their sexism and harassment, and accommodate new understandings of gender...

Michael Bleby 2019a

"...the so-called war for talent is......part of the reason why they will rethink their workplaces to enable people to have much more flexible lifestyles, including parental leave, bringing children to the workplace, bringing dogs to the workplace..."

James Grose as quoted by Michael Bleby 2019a

This rethinking of the workplace has been speed up by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic (starting in 2020). The concept of remote working, eg from home, has grown in popularity since it was used as a way of reducing the spread of the virus by minimising face-to-face contact.

Some people have been working remotely for decades. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has encourage more people to work remotely, rather than in the office. The immediate results of this are reduced demand for office space in cities, eg one firm reduced its 3 levels of offices to 1, and reduced the number of desks in one department from 25 to 9 (Nathan Synnot, 2020). These remote workers are using technologies, like Zoom, to keep in contact with relevant stakeholders.



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