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Australian organisations resist flexible working arrangements

A recent poll by Harrier Human Capital found that 48% of respondents work for organisations with no flexible work arrangements on offer.

Despite a growing trend in global workplaces, Australian organisations appear slow to offer alternative work arrangements.  The Harrier findings are consistent with a 2013 study of 500 organisations by labour analytics company Kronos where more than half those surveyed did not offer flexible work options.

The Harrier poll did find however, that 45% of respondents were able to choose their start and finish times and 27% were able to work from home or work shorter hours for an agreed time. Just 18% had job share or part-time arrangements on offer.

According to the 2013 Kronos survey, 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%).

Harrier CEO, Kelly Quirk says that organisations not allowing for any form of flexibility are missing out on a valuable talent pool. “The focus should not be on actual hours worked, but on outputs and talent.”

“Increasingly, organisations will need to find ways to accommodate employees with children, or those with disabled, ill or elderly family members to care for. It will become important for organisations to retain talent and organisational knowledge, as well as enticing women back to the workforce”, says Ms Quirk.

September 2014