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Aussies value flexible hours over working from home
Tue, 6th Feb 2024

In the world of work, Australian employees value flexible working hours more highly than the opportunity to work from home, according to a new study. However, if a company's work-from-home policy was abolished, the majority of Australians would contemplate moving to another job. This contradiction in employee sentiments captures the multifaceted nature of worker attitudes in the lead up to 2024.

The Employee Census Report by Perkbox and YouGov - the inaugural survey of its kind in Australia - shines a light on what matters most to the country's workforce. By polling a varied sample of over 1000 working Australians, it captured views from workers at all levels. Most notably, it found 67% of Australians appreciate flexible working hours as the most valuable benefit their workplace can offer.

However, work-life balance isn't just about flexibility in timing. Over half (58%) of respondents value rewards and recognition for achieving workplace milestones, while 43% found value in the option to work from home. This ranked lower than other perks such as career progression and additional annual leave, drawing a complex picture of employee priorities.

Despite the lower ranking of remote work as a workplace benefit, it appears to be a deal-breaker for a significant proportion of professionals. Among Australian workers, three in five (61%) would consider resigning if their company's remote work policy was rescinded.

The report also delved into broader issues affecting worker sentiments. Almost half (44%) of the respondents were sceptical about receiving a pay rise or cost of living adjustment this year. Interestingly, the cost of living crisis seems to have a split influence: 46% claimed it had no impact on their motivation, but 27% believed it had affected their productivity, and a similar number said it had driven them to increase their output.

Looking to the future, nearly half of Australian workers (48%) intend to apply for a new job in 2024. Of those, however, 21% hope to shift to a new role within their current organisation, suggesting a desire for growth while maintaining company loyalty.

Commenting on the findings, Doug Butler, Chief Executive Officer of Perkbox, stated: "Clearly flexible working, remote work from home arrangements and cost of living concerns are all front of mind for employees this year." He stressed the importance of not overlooking these critical benefits, given that most employees would leave their job for them.

Butler also raised the necessity for employers to be vigilant, predicting a challenging year ahead as companies seek to balance their workforce management. He emphasised that employers should consider what matters most to their people and tailor workplace arrangements to suit individual needs, wherever possible.

Offering benefits that resonate with employee needs and desires is crucial across all sectors. With this in mind, it's no surprise that Perkbox currently works with over 200 companies across Australia and 4,000 globally, catering to businesses as diverse as CBRE, Muji, and Krispy Kreme, and helping them understand and meet the diverse needs of their workforces.