Fuseworks Media

‘Flexiters threaten New Zealand businesses this year’

The Flexiter – a worker who resigns due to their employer not offering enough flexibility – will challenge their bosses this year, with 69% of Kiwi workers saying they’d either definitely or probably leave their job if their work cannot ‘flex’ around their personal needs.

In a February poll by Frog Recruitment of 1,083 New Zealand workers, recipients said working from home, reduced hours, job sharing, flexible hours, and working remotely remain a priority, and their presence indicates reduced stress and increased job satisfaction.

Frog Recruitment Managing Director Shannon Barlow said that while just over half of the polled workers revealed they are happy with their current work flexibility, the remainder (43%) are either somewhat or not satisfied. Barlow says this is a stark warning to employers.

“While an influx of migrant job seekers has eased pressure on employers looking for staff, unemployment is still low, so employers need to be mindful of workers’ priorities.

“Kiwi workers are still demanding flexibility, and it has become a valuable bargaining tool around the negotiating table. Ignoring this expectation can create a talent exodus, and organisations must keep hold of their talent in our tight labour market.”

The poll confirmed more than a third of respondents said they’ll Flexit and seek a new job this year. The same number will ask for more flexible hours (34%).

“If retaining valuable talent is a challenge for your business, it’s time to get creative with how you accommodate the needs of your workforce,” said Barlow.

She adds that employee wellbeing is at the centre of flexible working arrangements, and the lack of flexibility in the workplace can lead to higher stress levels and lower employee morale; neither is beneficial to productivity or engagement.

While flexibility is the major drawcard for employees, the results revealed that just under half (46%) are willing to compromise their expectations in favour of job security and are staying put in their roles.

“With the current cost of living crisis and a critical need to pay the bills and feed a household, we can see how many workers will remain in their jobs, irrespective of a lack of work flexibility.

She says COVID-19 fundamentally changed how we work.

“In this post-pandemic world, if employers are yet to make work flexibility a mainstay or are recalling their workforce back to the office with limited consultation and staff resistance, a Flexit may be on their horizon.

“A Flexit adds to recruitment costs, workflow and team disruption, and the loss of vital knowledge. If a business isn’t working to accommodate their people’s needs, can they afford not to?”


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