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Lifestyle over money

By CCIWA Editor 

It seems it’s not just a happy wife that leads to a happy life – more and more Australian workers say they are happy to give up some of their salary to ensure more work lifestyle benefits.   

Work-life balance is important so it’s worth considering when you are looking at how to keep your staff happy – there may be other benefits you can put on the table other than money to keep them engaged. 

A survey of 1000 office workers by recruitment firm Robert Half found that 84 per cent were willing to accept a lower salary for more benefits.  

Most of that group appreciated more flexible working hours, while others preferred the option of working from home, an increased holiday allowance, medical benefits or travel allowances.  

CCIWA’s Director of People and Culture, Kendall Scott, said employers will typically enjoy significantly higher productivity from workers who are part time or who use flexible working options, such as condensed working weeks. 

“This is because they have to be more organised and prioritise their work load,” Scott said. 

“Efficiency becomes critical when there are a reduced number of hours to achieve work outcomes.” 

The CCIWA’s advice centre deals with more than 30,000 employee relations and HR inquiries a year and Ms Scott said there was evidence that employers who offered flexibility retained employee loyalty. 

“Tenure of staff increases significantly and, given turnover is estimated to cost employers about 80 per cent of the individual’s salary, every time the role is replaced means employers are making significant savings here,” Scott said. 

Andrew Brushfield, director of recruitment firm Robert Half, said that in a market characterised by slow wage growth, Australian companies might not be able to award pay rises or higher starting salaries. 

“In such cases, employees should consider negotiating for benefits other than more pay – such as training and professional development opportunities or more leave,” Brushfield 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,” Brushfield said.   

Got a HR or IR question? Contact CCI’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or advice@cciwa.com. 

It seems it’s not just a happy wife that leads to a happy life – more and more Australian workers say they are happy to give up some of their salary to ensure more work lifestyle benefits.    Work-life balance is important so it’s worth considering when you are looking at how to keep your staff happy – there may be other benefits you can put on the table other than money to keep them engaged. 

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