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Flexible work

Flexible work can benefit employees, employers, the economy, communities and the environment. It is about people having the opportunity to make changes to the hours they work (over a day, a week or over the year), the times and days they work or where they work. It is also about how careers are organised, how transitions in and out of work are managed, and how flexible working is managed in the workplace so that employees and businesses benefit. Many of the common types of flexible work are explained here.

Having flexible work arrangements is becoming an important part of New Zealand workplaces. A pressing issue for many New Zealanders is trying to balance work with other things in their lives such as caring for children of older parents, or playing sport or working in the community. We are also working longer hours and taking longer getting to and from work.

New Zealand’s healthy economy means that there are more people in the workforce and employers are finding it more difficult to find the skilled workers they need. Many employers are offering flexible working arrangements to attract and retain employees and to support them to continue to do other things in their lives that are important.

Increasingly organisations are also looking at ways to become more sustainable. Flexible work options are being used by some organisations as part of their travel planning strategies to reduce transport problems at the workplace and reduce car trips to and from the workplace

The Department also consulted with the public on the issues associated with increasing the availability and take up of flexible work in New Zealand.

Many other countries have also developed resources on flexible work that you may find useful.