For over half of Kiwi employees, private life and work life are intertwined, according to a report commissioned by leading specialist recruitment & HR services company, Randstad.
The quarterly Randstad Workmonitor tracks jobseeker confidence and provides a comprehensive understanding of job market sentiment and trends relating to the employment market. The Q1 2012 findings just released show 56% of New Zealanders handle work-related matters in their private time, and 59% receive work-related phone calls or emails outside of regular office hours.
Furthermore, the report also suggests employees across the ditch are not as productive during the working day as Kiwis, with just over half (51%) handling private matters at work compared to a smaller 44% of New Zealanders.
Director of Randstad New Zealand , Paul Robinson, says these results highlight the current business environment and the growing trend of work life blend.
"Businesses in New Zealand have experienced an extremely challenging 12 months, and while we are now seeing a slow but gradual improvement in the labour market , I don't see a marked change until the second half of the year.
"What these challenging conditions mean is that job uncertainty has increased the pressure for many employees to be available at all hours, hence more people completing work related activities in their own time as a way of demonstrating their commitment to the business."
Mr Robinson says the traditional concept of work life balance has become outdated as work and life are now inextricably combined.
"With the availability of smartphones and mobile wifi, it can be difficult to ever completely switch off and maintain a work life balance. When employees check their emails, take work calls or come into work on the weekend, their work and private life become blended and they can get work done more efficiently, with less stress and frustration, and at their own pace. These days, it's too difficult to completely switch off, and life becomes less demanding when these two spheres complement each other.
"The results from the latest Workmonitor support this notion, and we are seeing more and more employees demonstrating it. What employers need to be aware of in return, however, is that with this change needs to come more tolerance for people completing some personal activities in work time. It's give and take."
Mr Robinson adds that interestingly, the Q1 2012 Workmonitor Mobility Index reveals Kiwis will be less actively looking for a job over the next six months. This compares to the last quarter, with the index dropping substantially by five points to 102, reflecting the current economic climate and uncertainty in the labour market.
"Employees will be conservative about moving jobs over the next six months and a major factor in this is the uncertainty occurring globally which has the potential to impact locally," he says.
"My advice to employers would be to look after your people before the job market opens up opportunities for them, which we predict could happen in the second half of this year. Employers need to make sure their people are engaged, challenged and happy at work, and the business leaders are performing effectively in order to retain strong performers."
Other findings from Randstad's Workmonitor reveal three out of ten New Zealand employees say their employer expects them to be available 24/7.
More Randstad Workmonitor statistics:
The Q1 Randstad Workmonitor results also found:
- 16% of workers are provided with a smartphone by their employer
- 64% prefer face to face contact to phone/email
- 20% said they are easily distracted by email and phone at work
- 68% said they are satisfied working with their current employer
- 40% are not focussed on getting a promotion
- 33% purposely create moments during the day when they ignore phone calls and emails
New Zealand joins 32 countries across the world in the quarterly Randstad Workmonitor research. Workmonitor is significant to New Zealand as it highlights local and global trends.