Many employers are reluctant to offer their workforce flexible working arrangements, but a new survey suggests doing so could help to reduce their overall wages bill.
According to the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide, which polled 1,000 office workers nationally, a staggering 84 per cent of Australians would accept a lower salary in return for extra benefits that promote a better work-life balance.
The most popular trade-in would be for flexible working hours, with almost half (47 per cent) of respondents rating this as their most desired benefit.
Next was the ability to work from home (40 per cent) and an increase in the amount of annual leave available (37 per cent).
Travel allowances and medical benefits were also touted as substitutes for a higher salary.
“While salary is a prime motivator and the main incentive of a remuneration package, it is [only] one component,” said Andrew Brushfield, director of recruitment firm Robert Half Australia.
“Flexibility is increasingly becoming one of the most in-demand workplace benefits and Australians are actively seeking out job opportunities that not only satisfy their monetary ambitions, but also their lifestyle needs.”
Mr Brushfield added that this research is likely to be a welcome relief for employers, who are under pressure to do more for their employees’ health and wellbeing while balancing budgetary constraints.
“Employers are fast realising these non-monetary benefits help to build a satisfied, motivated, productive and loyal workforce,” he said.
“In a candidate-short employment market, Australian companies benefit from diversifying their incentives offerings beyond the purely financial aspect in order to attract and retain high-calibre professionals.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.