Briefing paper

Engaging men in flexible working arrangements

Employment Work-life balance Families Australia
Attachment Size
apo-nid35466.pdf 156.07 KB

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.

Key findings

  • 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
Publication Details