No flexible work – why?

by Cameron Edmond05 Nov 2013

Although a growing trend in workplaces around the world, many Australian organisations continue to resist offering flexible working hours. While this may generate a stigma of an ‘un-cool’ working environment, a new report by Kronos has revealed the decision isn’t without reason.

Many Australian organisations are fearful that flexible working options will cause disruptions to the working environment. Some are fearful of policy complexities (37%), while others are concerned about additional costs to the business (33%).

These negative perceptions correlate with a high proportion of Australian businesses not offering flexi-time options (54%), not allowing employees to work varied hours (48%), and not supporting rostered/shift work (40%).

The survey examined 500 business decision-makers and 2000 employees across industries such as healthcare, retail and manufacturing.

Kronos stated that organisations not allowing for any form of flexiwork are “closing the door on potential candidates looking for more flexibility”, such as those who are entering parenthood or semi-retirement.

“Current industry opinion and past research indicate that employees attribute their loyalty to the availability of flexible working arrangements,” Peter Harte, vice president of Kronos APAC, said. “By not accommodating more flexible options, employers in Australia are missing out on an opportunity to retain human capital and organisational knowledge.”


  • by kevin 5/11/2013 1:28:01 PM

    It has now go to the point where the employee's availability is driving rosters and in some instances the number of shift variations actually exceeding the number of employees. To provide even further flexibility as is required after 1 Jan 2014 may only be achieved by changing either service delivery or customer expectations. This is going to greatly challenge those of us in the service industry with a shift from the customer to the employee.

  • by David 5/11/2013 1:32:42 PM

    Flexible hours are not favoured by companies with salaried employees due to the expectation that employees will work beyond the standard contracted hours when needed. The concept of a flexible hour’s arrangements where requests to work to a strict 38 hour week (with varied starting and finishing times) can bread animosity within a team where people have a general expectation of a 45-50 hour week.
    It is more important in these environments to have a flexible working arrangement where people can be mobile and work from home, or other locations, and have the flexibility to have their work judged on its quality rather than by a valueless time based measure.

  • by Alison Monroe 5/11/2013 3:55:54 PM

    What would be of interest is ongoing measurement of staff engagement, performance and turnover in flexible organisations versus non flexible then we will really be able to have a compelling discussion on the merits of flexibility and agility.

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