Christine Bagley-Jones, psychologist at the Counselling and Wellbeing Centre in Brisbane believes that companies should adopt a system that lets employees choose their own hours.
“Some people prefer to work longer hours so they can have more days off, while for others it’s ideal to work strictly within school hours so they can pick up their kids,” she says. “It’s wonderful if an organisation can give their staff that sense of control.”
Bagley-Jones believes that working flexibly – whether that be working fewer hours like our friends in Sweden or simply changing your scenery – is advantageous for both employee and employer.
“I strongly believe that it’s psychologically beneficial for people to have more flexibility in their work environment, both in terms of their hours and in the way they approach their duties,” she says.
“This can also include being able to work from home or elsewhere,” says Bagley-Jones. “They tend to be happier because they have a sense of control and opportunity around work.”
“The more opportunity you give an employee to put their own stamp on their position, the more ownership they tend to take regarding their job,” says Bagley-Jones.
Bagley-Jones, Brisbane-based psychologist, believes Australia is taking so long to adopt flexible working conditions because employers need a lot of evidence before they’ll embrace change.
“Many bosses have this fear that if they can’t watch you do the work, they’ll have no proof it’s really happening,” she says. “Employers need to trust their employees and have mechanisms to confirm that the productivity is the same.”