Work/Life Research

Managing Work|Life Balance International regularly undertakes research projects for both public and private sector organisations, as well as conducting national surveys on topics relating to work/life/diversity issues. On this page we have posted links and summaries of research from Australia and overseas organisations which highlights new trends and interesting findings in the areas of work/life balance, flexible work arrangements, diversity management and other related topics.

Has coronavirus and working from home given us the biggest productivity increase of the century?

 This article highlights what many organisations who have supported remote and flexible working  have known for some time, that there are significant opportuntieis for increases in productivity at the same time as giving the employee greater flexibility to manage their work/life responsibilities.

Link to article

Public Service - changing attitudes to workplace flexibility by managers

It has been almost 50 years ago since visionaries started predicting a digital revolution enabling many of us to work from home.

But that revolution has long been thwarted by resistance – crucially from management concerned about productivity and performance. The authors of this article said "Our own research with Australian public service managers in 2018 found extensive managerial resistance to employees working from home.

Wondering how the enforced experience of working from home might change such attitudes, we surveyed 6000 Australian public servants (including 1400 managers) in June and July, and found the seeds for a revolution.

Only 8.4 per cent of managers rated their teams less productive when working from home, while 57 per cent thought productivity the same, and 34.6 per cent believed it higher.

These findings, along with others, suggest working from home, at least for part of the week, may become the norm."  Read the full article

Remote working is not going away: who wins and loses when workers stay home?

This article explores some of the benefits and challenges faced by staff who work from home. One concern highlighted by this article/research is the need to continue with the training options for staff and managers who often need help in managing in a new environment.

Work/Life Balance and Flexibility still a priority for employees

In a recent report on their World of Work Survey, Ranstad Australia/New Zealand found that when it comes to job satisfaction, employees report moderate levels of happiness and again affirm the principals of meaningful work; recognition and fexicurity (job security with inbuilt flexibility), are the key to loving their work. In fact 26% of employees intending to stay with their current organisation for the next 12 months, say good work/life balance is the main reason which would suggest that Australian employers are listening and beginning to deliver on workplace flexibility.

Employers clearly see this trend continuing as flexibility also ranked first among future challenges, with 92% agreeing or strongly agreeing the merging of daily work and life means employees will demand both security and flexibility in the next ten years.

Read the full report  here

Give and Take Families' perceptions and experiences of flexible work in New Zealand

This report summarises the findings of a research project conducted by the Families Commission, exploring families’ experiences of flexible work arrangements, and their impact on family life.

Flexible work allows people to make changes to the hours or times they work, and where they work. It helps people to organise their careers to accommodate their other commitments, and to manage transitions in and out of the workforce. For flexible work to be described as ‘quality’, these changes must not adversely affect income, career progression, availability of scheduled leave or access to high-quality work for those who take it up. In addition, quality flexible work confers benefits on both employees and employers. To find out more about the report click here


WFD Global Mens Study on Work and Life Integration

Results from a research study of employees around the world conducted in late 2010 reveal that, when it comes to work and family, men and women are more alike than different. This finding conflicts with a widely held assumption that male identity is rooted in work whereas women place a higher priority on personal/family life.

The Global Study on Men and Work-Life Integration (by Work Family Directions USA) sought to understand how organizations can remove the stereotypes and barriers that prevent men from utilizing work-life offerings as well as what prevents leaders and managers, who are often men, from supporting the use of work-life options. Read more about this study here

Workplace Flexibility – What Employers Think

A WorldatWork study, Survey on Workplace Flexibility, provides an inside look at employers’ views on flexibility. The study was designed to gauge the impact of flexibility programs on employee attraction, motivation and retention and also examine the manner in which these programs are managed. The study revealed that while a vast majority (98%) of U.S. employers offer at least one workplace flexibility program, most (nearly 60%) use an informal approach, i.e., no written policies or forms, up to manager discretion, etc., and four out of 10 say flexibility is culturally embedded. The study found that a stronger culture of flexibility is correlated with a lower voluntary turnover rate. Read More