A survey of 1,000 Australian office workers, commissioned by specialised recruitment firm Robert Half and published in the newly-released 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide has found the majority (84 per cent) of Australian office workers are willing to accept a lower salary for more benefits. This finding represents a shift in the workplace as Australians increasingly value flexible working arrangements, for many even over a higher salary.
Flexibility tops the charts as almost half (47 per cent) would be willing to accept lower pay in return for flexible working hours. Other preferred benefits include the option to work from home (40 per cent), increased holiday allowance (37 per cent), medical benefits (36 per cent) and travel allowances such as company cars and fuel expenses (31 per cent).
“While salary is a prime motivator and the main incentive of a remuneration package, it is one component,” said Andrew Brushfield, director of Robert Half Australia. “Flexibility is increasingly becoming one of the most in-demand workplace benefits and Australians are actively seeking out job opportunities that not only satisfy their monetary ambitions but also their lifestyle needs, such as flexible working hours, the ability to work from home or additional holidays.
“In a market characterised by slow wage growth, Australian companies might not be in a position to award pay rises or higher starting salaries,” he continued. “In such cases, employees should consider negotiating for benefits other than more pay, such as training and professional development opportunities or more leave.”
Brushfield adds that employers are fast realising that non-monetary benefits help to build a satisfied, motivated, productive and loyal workforce. “In a candidate-short employment market, Australian companies benefit from diversifying their incentives offerings beyond the purely financial aspect in order to attract and retain high-calibre professionals,” Andrew Brushfield concluded.