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New Zealand: Workers Want Flexibility, Not Leave
Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/employment/news/article.cfm?c_id=11&objectid=11769659
Source Date: Monday, December 19, 2016
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Institution and HR Management
Country: New Zealand
Created: Dec 20, 2016

Workers would prefer more flexibility in their hours over more holidays according to a recent survey of New Zealand chief financial officers commissioned by recruitment and employment agency Robert Half.

One hundred New Zealand chief financial officers and finance directors responded to the survey which asked, other than additional compensation, what benefits staff most wanted in 2017.

Fifty-five per cent of respondents said workers want more flexible working hours, compared to just 23 per cent who said workers want more time off.

"In the digital age and with a more mobile workforce, it's no longer the case that every employee needs to be in the office from 9 to 5 to be productive," said Megan Alexander, general manager of Robert Half New Zealand.

"In many cases, managers are actively encouraging their employees to take advantage of their flexible work arrangements as they constitute an attractive alternative to salary increases," Alexander said.

"Companies can differentiate themselves by offering little extras, such as flexible working hours, the option to work from home and more holidays. Not only will this boost staff morale and productivity, but companies are also recognising the added value in gaining the reputation of an employer of choice, helping boost their talent acquisition strategies."

After more flexible work hours and annual leave, 10 per cent of respondents said workers wanted home office or telecommuting options. Five per cent said workers wanted more training or professional development opportunities.

"It appears, above all else, Kiwi workers would prefer a more flexible attitude towards their set working hours rather than more time off or other non-financial incentives," said Alexander.

"These benefits can go both ways, as the potential advantages for employers are well-known - such as reduced costs, improved output and increasing employee loyalty. When flexible working is used appropriately with the necessary level of buy-in from both employers and employees, it can be to everyone's advantage."

The annual study is developed and commissioned by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm.

A survey by Southern Cross Health Society in October found 59 per cent of workers were stressed at work at least once a week, spurring the insurer to encourage Kiwi bosses to let staff adopt flexible hours, while a survey in 2015 found workers would quit their jobs if offered similar roles with more flexible hours.

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