COMMENT:

Turns out it's not just millennials who're into flexi-hours - almost two thirds of fulltime employees these days work flexibly.

Ostensibly what we're seeing is the death of the old 9 to 5 workday.

But despite the nature and makeup of our work days changing, attitudes are still lagging woefully behind.

Advertisement

Most people tend to think a flexi-worker or part timer must be so because of parenting issues. Most think it'd be mums filling out those statistics, juggling careers with childcare issues. But not so.

More and more people just appreciate a work-life balance. Some want to manage a job and a side hustle. Some just want less stress in their life.

We've come a long way from the days of our grandparents, where you had a job for life and you worked hard all week at it, and didn't dare put your head above the parapet to mention such things as 'work life balance'.

Whereas these days, not only do we expect it, we're more likely to look for a job that'll give it to us. We also expect the reaction of bosses, when we utter those words, to nod and congratulate us for looking to live a well-balanced life.

Surely most employers by now have figured out that happy employees are better than stretched over worked miserable ones?

At the start of this year, New Zealand trust company Perpetual Guardian trialled a four-day working week, while paying its employees for five days. After the successful trial the company made the four-day week the new norm. Not only that, it cited reduced stress levels in staff, employees perceptions of workload improved, productivity went up 20 percent.

Turns out if you're only at work four days a week you're less likely to spend the bulk of your workday surfing the internet.

No a four-day week doesn't work for every employer or employee, but there are creative ways of adding some flexibility into your schedule.

One company I know of decreed stand-up meetings only - the thinking being that if people had to stand for the meeting, it would most likely keep it brief and to the point, rather than lengthy go-nowhere meetings with people sitting on their bums bored witless.


Some employers are flexible around a late start one day a week or an early departure.
Some weeks are easier to ease up on than others.

But we'd be well-served to lose the psychology around flexi-time being people cutting corners, or just mums. Often it's just the opposite: time to study, time to exercise, time to pursue something creative.

The sooner we ditch the 9 to 5 mindset and embrace a more balanced approach, the better off we'll all be.