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Australian workers worried about job security but won’t give up a good work life balance

  • Written by Business Daily Media

Randstad’s latest Workmonitor - now in its twentieth year - surveyed 35,000 workers in 34 markets across Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas and revealed that two fifths (39.2%) of Australian workers are worried about the impact of economic uncertainty on their job security.

Encouragingly, employee confidence is higher in Australia compared to the rest of the world (52% of workers globally are worried about their job security) but one in four (26.8%) workers in Australia are still concerned that they may lose their job.   

Continued demand for work-life balance and flexibility 

Despite this, Australian workers aren’t willing to forgo any of the expectations they became accustomed to during the pandemic. Nearly half (48.3%) would quit a job if it was preventing them from enjoying life and over two-fifths (41%) said that they would quit their job if their employer did not take into account their request for better conditions. Despite the cost of living crisis and new concerns over job security, these proportions are largely unchanged from last year’s Workmonitor (47% and 40% respectively). 

The research also shows that the pandemic has left a lasting legacy on workers’ demands for flexibility, reinforcing flexible and hybrid working as the new normal. Despite the economic environment, over half (56.6%) of workers said that they would not accept a job if they thought it would impact their work-life balance. The vast majority of workers (83.2%) also said that flexible working hours are important in terms of what they look for in a role. 

Additional income streams 

But while Australian workers are not willing to give up flexibility, the tough economic environment, with the cost of living crisis and rising inflation, has pushed Australian workers to seek new sources of income. According to the research, one in four (24.2%) workers have made the decision to take on or look for a second role and a fifth (20.1%) are planning to increase their hours at their current job. People are looking to their employers for support as well, with two in five (38.6%) seeking a salary increase outside of the usual cadence of annual pay reviews, increasing wage cost pressure for many businesses. 

Delayed retirement 

The cost of living crisis is also having an impact on Australian workers’ expectations for  retirement, with one in five (20.3%) employees planning to delay their retirement, which is slightly higher than the global average of 17.5%.   

The majority of Australian workers (75.5%) say their financial position is preventing them from retiring as early as they want too, with less than half of Australian workers (43.2%) thinking they’ll be able to retire before 65. For one in ten (11.4%) retirement might not be possible until they are 75 or older. 

David Owens, Managing Director at HR Partners by Randstad, commented: “While Australian employee confidence is comparatively stronger than the global average, as talks of recession ramp up, a sense of vulnerability will creep into the market. 

Many potential jobseekers will worry that the last one in, will be the first one out should they change jobs, and the company finds itself under economic pressure. Employers need to consider what they can do to minimise this risk, otherwise it will make attracting talent harder and more expensive. 

Luckily Australian workers are giving clear indications about what they are looking for: job security, better work life balance and flexibility. Ultimately the businesses which step up expectations during tough economic conditions will reap the rewards in recruitment and retention when times are easier.”

Randstad is a global leader in the recruitment and HR services industry. The company's Australian business has been supporting people and organisations in realising their true potential, helping find the best permanent and contracting talent across industries. Human connection is at the heart of the business. A personal approach, supported by state-of-the-art technology, is what sets Randstad apart in talent acquisition. Randstad is uniquely Human Forward. Visit www.randstad.com.au to discover a new way to recruit.

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