This paper highlights that men want more flexibility at all stages of their career and they perform better when they have it. We also know a large number of men have considered leaving their current employer due to a lack of flexibility. The problem is most men believe asking for flexibility is a career limiting move.
The challenge for Australian workplaces is to normalise flexible working arrangements, including varying start and finish times, part-time work and compressed work weeks, so they can reap the benefits of a more engaged and productive workforce. In turn, this will enable men to be more involved in caregiving and parenting, which is not only important for their emotional well-being but also critical for women to have greater access to job opportunities.
We asked a number of fathers who are already working flexibly to tell us about their flexible working arrangement and how it benefits both them and their employer.
- Flexibility is a key driver for men when making employment decisions, especially young fathers
- Flexible work is not just part-time work. It may be flexible start and finish times, working a compressed working week over 4 days, telecommuting or working from home
- Employers that increase the availability of quality flexible working arrangements, with career advancement opportunities, have access to a broader talent pool
- Employees who utilise flexible working arrangements are found to be more productive and more engaged with their work
- Flexible working arrangements for men also benefit women by promoting gender equality at work and home
- A significant number of men do not request flexible working arrangements due to the stigma attached to the practice