Would you take the money, or the flexibility?
Preferably both, you might say. But Australians are placing more emphasis on the value of flexibility and may be willing to sacrifice pay in order to achieve it.
Six in ten workers want more flexibility over how they structure their working time, according to new research released today by ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View.
While pay continues to trump other factors when it comes to what people want in a job, almost half of the workers surveyed (48 per cent) said they would actually take a pay cut if it meant improving their work-life balance and achieving more flexibility and control over how and when they work.
Meanwhile, 41 per cent said they would take a pay cut in order to guarantee flexibility around how they structure their hours – even if their total hours didn’t change week to week.
Despite these findings and the clear interest in flexibility, the survey creators express surprise that just nine per cent of Australians have been offered the opportunity of a four day work week
They are calling for more employers to consider flexibility, especially as 62 per cent of workers surveyed said they have contemplated a major career change in just the past year.
Kylie Baullo, the MD of ADP for Australia and New Zealand, said the results show that businesses need to get creative in adjusting to employee expectations – including by considering ideas like the four day work week.
“Such arrangements would previously have been dismissed, but now they are an example of real-world change caused by shifting worker priorities and astute business leaders,” she said.
“Business leaders must consider what employees value and be open-minded and accommodating in negotiation.” The idea of the four day work week has been getting significantly more airtime in recent months, as a major study into its impact on productivity, wellbeing and gender equality kicked off last month in the United Kingdom, and as more Australian businesses are reportedly trialling and considering the idea