Aussie workers willing to sacrifice pay for flexibility reveals new research

Kylie Baullo, Managing Director for ANZ at ADP

Aussie workers are placing emphasis on flexibility in their working lives, and are willing to sacrifice overall pay, according to the ADP® Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View. In Australia, 6 in 10 workers want more flexibility over how they structure their working time, for example, compressing hours down into fewer, longer days.

What were the findings of the survey?

While workers say pay is the most important factor in a job, the research also found that nearly half of all Australians surveyed (48%) would accept a pay cut if it meant improving their work-life balance, giving them more flexibility or control over their working lives.

41% would take a pay cut to guarantee flexibility in how they structure their hours – even if it meant the total hours worked did not change. Although workers are seeking flexibility, the survey found that the four-day working week has only been offered to 9% of Australians.

Given that 62% of workers have contemplated making a major career move in the past year, attracting and retaining talent is a key business goal for most organisations.

What were ADP’s thoughts on the research findings?

Kylie Baullo, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, ADP, said: “Many of our long-held beliefs about working have been upended. While the onus remains on employers to create an attractive working environment, which encourages employees to stay, the hiring market is highly competitive at the moment. This is a strong indication that business leaders must consider what employees value and be open-minded and accommodating in negotiation.”

“Businesses should allow themselves to think creatively to align organisational goals with the shifts in employee expectations. New arrangements, like the four-day work week, have yet to be widely adopted. But these have the potential to be advantageous for employers and employees. Such arrangements would previously have been dismissed, but now they are an example of real-world change caused by shifting worker priorities and astute business heads.”

“While pay continues to be a high priority for many, flexibility and work-life balance are increasingly important organisational features that are sought after in both the Australian and global hiring markets. Acknowledging, understanding, and addressing these priorities is now vital for successful businesses looking to retain their core talent and help them thrive.”