With lockdowns and quarantines hurting mental health, and redundancies and cut hours hurting hip pockets, people all over Australia are doing it tough in 2020.
Yet, as much as this year has been a test of endurance, it has also been instructive in the working arena. Extended periods without access to offices and employees has meant businesses needed to adapt to survive. In many cases, this meant developing infrastructure to support flexible working arrangements on a scale we’ve never seen before.
The Flexible Working Win
Prior to COVID-19, employers were already testing the waters of flexible hours and work from home schemes, and the benefits were well documented.
Giving employees the latitude to work around the other important things in their lives makes for a more productive and happier workforce. Studies also commonly found reduced employee turnover rates, increases in motivation and satisfaction, as well as the ability for companies to attract a more diverse and skilled range of workers who needed to rely on flexible work schemes.
Family Friendly Future
As 2020 draws to a close, polling has shown that 48% of employees will likely continue to work remotely, at least some of the time. For companies this represents a win for all the reasons outlined above, but for families and mothers this is an incredible opportunity.
Even as working conditions for young parents and mothers have gradually improved, the true hurdle has always been the immovable nine-to-five work schedule. For mums looking to take parental leave, or families who need someone to do school runs, flexible work is the difference in having to choose between family and a career.
So as the year comes to an end, we hope to see companies continue to take advantage of 2020’s lessons and the new flexible working infrastructure they’ve had to develop. Recognising that flexible workers are productive and trustworthy will go a long way to supporting the people who always needed this as an option. Encouraging young mums and families back into the workplace will result in a happier and more financially secure future than ever before, and that’s something we think everyone can get behind.
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