Kiwi workers with flexible hours are more likely to be satisfied in both their jobs and work-life balance than those without, according to a recent survey.

The Survey of Working Life 2018, conducted by Stats NZ between October and December last year, revealed those with flexible hours had higher levels of satisfaction (79 per cent) than those who didn't (71 per cent).

And only 3 per cent of those who had flexible hours reported being dissatisfied with their main job compared with 6.1 per cent of those with no flexi-time.

"Having the ability to start and finish your job at different times is an important aspect of balancing work with life outside it, so it's unsurprising that employees who don't have that flexibility feel less satisfied with their work-life balance than those who do," said labour market statistics manager Scott Ussher.


Ussher said flexibility at work comes in different forms – including the ability to vary the hours, days, and location of work.

According to the survey, more than half (51 per cent) of employees in New Zealand have flexible work hours, allowing them to start and finish work at different times each day, while one-third have worked from home in their main job.

More men, however, had flexible working hours (54 per cent) than women (49 per cent).

The proportion of employees who have flexible work hours varies considerably by industry.

The industries where employees had the highest proportion of flexible work hours (more than seven out of 10) were rental, hiring, and real estate services; and professional, scientific, and technical services.

By comparison, under four in 10 employees in healthcare and social assistance had flexible work hours.

"Industries like healthcare and social assistance, and education and training have lower rates of employees working flexible hours, as these industries include professions, such as doctors, nurses and teachers, where fixed working hours are largely unavoidable," Ussher said.

"The types of flexibility people experience at work vary, depending on the industry they work in and what job they have."


Parents of dependent children were revealed to most likely have flexible hours (57 per cent) than non-parents (49 per cent).

And parents were considerably more likely to have ever worked from home (44 per cent) compared with non-parents (29 per cent).

But working from home did not always correlate with an increased satisfaction with work-life balance.

Those who did work from home were more likely to be dissatisfied (12 per cent) than those who did not work from home (6.9 per cent), according to the survey.