Men Want More Flexible Working Hours
9 September 2013 at 10:40 am
Australian men want more flexibility at all stages of their career and they perform better when they have it, according to a new Government briefing paper from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
The paper called Engaging Men in Flexible Working Arrangements says a large number of men have considered leaving their current employer due to a lack of flexibility.
“The problem is most men believe asking for flexibility is a career limiting move,” the paper noted.
The Agency says however, as part of its research, it asked fathers who are already working flexibly to explain their working arrangements and how it benefits both them and their employer.
One of the key findings is that flexibility is now a key driver for men when making employment decisions, especially young fathers.
It says flexible work is not just part-time work. It may be flexible start and finish times, working a compressed working week over four days, telecommuting or working from home.
The Agency says employers that increase the availability of quality flexible working arrangements, with career advancement opportunities, have access to a broader talent pool.
“Employees who utilise flexible working arrangements are also found to be more productive and more engaged with their work,” the agency says.
“Flexible working arrangements for men also benefit women by promoting gender equality at work and home.”
WGEA says the challenge for Australian workplaces is to normalise flexible working arrangements, including varying start and finish times, part-time work and compressed work weeks, so they can reap the benefits of a more engaged and productive workforce.
“In turn, this will enable men to be more involved in caregiving and parenting, which is not only important for their emotional well-being but also critical for women to have greater access to job opportunities,” WGEA says.