October 2015

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2015

Flexitime: Bridging the Work-Life Gap

Over the past few years, businesses across the financial services industry are placing an increased focus upon the notion of ‘Flexitime’ . Flexitime explains the ideology of a variable work schedule aimed to attract and retain the best employees an industry has to offer.

Although this is not a new concept, with flexibility in the workplace being outlined in the Fair Work Act 2009 it is quickly becoming a hot topic in workplaces globally.  Technological advancements such as the introduction of smartphones and Skype mean we are constantly connected to the office, challenging the traditional 9-5 working day.

There are obvious benefits for employees adopting a flexitime approach to their professional life, with a recent study by Flexjobs revealing that employees believe it achieves a greater work-life balance, frees up your schedule for family, health and exercise and saves time and money by cutting out that dreaded daily commute.

The benefits of a flexitime working approach do not stop at employees. By granting such flexibility in terms of working hours, workspaces, etc., employers are allowing their staff to work autonomously which helps to increase employee discipline, communication, focus and engagement. Most importantly however, the flexitime concept accounts for talented individuals with personal life constraints to work to their full potential, which ultimately increases diversity in the workforce.

We can turn to the Australian Big 4 Banks for example. All 4 banks have a strong focus on flexibility in the workforce, whether it is through a “Flexi-space” approach adopted by ANZ to utilise different communication mediums, NAB’s Workspace@NAB initiative to maximise workspace utilisation or Westpac and Commonwealth Bank’s option to purchase additional annual leave. The statistics speak for themselves with 89% of Westpac employees wanting to work flexibly by 2017.

Like anything else, there are always issues of debate such as the obvious fear of work replacing one’s personal life altogether, but also the implications for senior employees in relation to a phased retirement approach. Explanations and responses to these concerns will undoubtedly eventuate as flexitime continues to challenge the command and control approaches of management in today’s professional landscape.


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