Why flexible jobs don't always offer work-life balance

Work-life balance is more complicated than the total hours rendered

Why flexible jobs don't always offer work-life balance

When it comes to offering family-friendly and flexible jobs, Australia is a global leader.

Despite this, work-life balance remains an “elusive goal” for the country’s workers, according to career site Indeed.com.

“Roles advertised using family-friendly or flexible language account for 12.3% of Australian job postings,” said Callam Pickering, economist at Indeed APAC. “But almost a quarter of Australian workers report being overworked,” Pickering said.

Australia ranked ninth among OECD countries whose workers rendered longer hours of service.

“Work-life balance is more complicated than simply total hours worked. It includes policies on such issues as flexible working hours, leave entitlements, and ability to work remotely,” said Pickering.

Employers who value work-life balance use the concept as a “selling point to attract candidates,” he said.

Indeed examined hundreds of thousands of job ads to determine which occupations and industries highlighted the importance of a family-friendly or flexible setup.

Jobs in the healthcare and social care sectors topped the list. The results showed a diverse range of occupations, with the more highly specialised trades belonging in the healthcare industry.

In contrast, lower-skilled occupations on the list came from the food and retail sectors, which purportedly gave workers more flexible hours.

There is a downside to this flexibility, however: the set-up doesn’t always mean workers are given the freedom to choose their schedule.

“Sometimes flexible work hours just means you may be working odd hours at your employer’s discretion,” Pickering said. “So, while these jobs may be flexible, they could be far from family-friendly.”



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