Family-friendly hours the answer for women seeking work/life balance

It’s not easy to balance the demands of work and family life, and so more and more Australian women are requesting family-friendly work hours, with the goal of working while still being able to care for their family.

According to the results of the recent Heat Group study, the number of women seeking flexible working arrangements has risen by 100% over the past ten years. And 57% of women said that working from home is the ideal way for them to strike the right balance between work and home.

A quarter of the women surveyed by the Heat Group stated that they would take up to a 10% pay cut if it meant that they could work more flexible hours. With the focus once again returning to home life, flexible hours and telecommuting are becoming an attractive alternative for Australian women.

What are family-friendly work hours?

  • Shorter workdays: Instead of working from 9 to 5 like the average professional, those working these family-friendly hours would be truncated—perhaps lasting from 9 AM to 2 or 3 PM.

  • Flexible work hours: Being able to put in 40 hours across the week instead of 8 hours a day Monday to Friday allows women to juggle their home and work responsibilities. They can make up for lost hours during the evenings or on the weekends.

  • Telecommuting: Working from home has become more and more common in Australia with an 8% increase in telecommuters. This is a very family-friendly arrangement.

  • Years later, with women’s roles as professionals firmly cemented, things are taking a turn towards home life once more. Over 60% of women surveyed by the Heat Group stated that they place a greater priority on an enjoyable lifestyle, while 43% of women mentioned travel as their highest priority.

  • This survey consisted of 1000 women between the ages of 16 to 70, of which over 50% were mothers. 86% of the women surveyed had successful careers, and their average income was $60,000.

  • One of the disturbing findings of the report was that while many women were able to devote the right amount of time to work, family and friends, they were neglecting their own health and well-being with 44% of women surveyed saying that they wished they had more time to exercise.