How Much Say Do You Get In Your Work Hours?

Having some say in your work hours can lead to much better job satisfaction, as well as making it easier to balance work and family requirements. Unfortunately, new figures suggest that it's a less common option for Australians than it has been in the past.

Picture by andyandorla

ABC News reports that new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 30% of workers currently negotiate their own hours. That sounds like a reasonable proportion, but three years ago the equivalent figure was 40%, a switch attributed to people being less willing to push for flexibility during difficult economic times.

Letting people set their own hours will always be a balancing act between business requirements and the need to attract workers, but I can't help thinking it shouldn't be something that two-thirds of us can't even contemplate. So I'm wondering: how many Lifehacker readers have negotiated their own hours? Is that an important requirement for your work? Do you have a formal arrangement, or do you trust your employer to be flexible when the need arises? Tell us in the comments.

Unions say workplaces still not family friendly [ABC News]


    Tried. Almost didn't get the job. Never again...

    I've worked in the I.T. industry for about 6 years and have recently gone from being employed to contracting. One would assume that I.T. would be one industry where technology would make it extremely easy/viable to be flexible in both location and hours.

    What I've found though is, since I.T. is a service based industry, catering to the needs of other businesses, you find you're expected to be always within easy reach during business hours.

    In the workforce, that expectation stems from the need to answer the phone, provide support to customers and provide 'face time' during meetings. In my last job my hours were 8:30 to 5:30 to cater for both the morning and evening rush, and there was very little room for flexibility.

    In a contracting role, things aren't that different. Location isn't so much of an issue but between 9 and 5 the client still expects you to be in easy reach. If anything, contracting gives clients the impression that you're 'always working' so I find I'll get calls as late as 9pm and occasionally on weekends.

    If you work for the Government you can generally make your own hours (provided you don't work in the customer service side - including IT help desk). As long as I do my required amount of hours I can come in and leave when I want.

    if you work for the government, you don't have to do much work.

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