Employees working in a project-based capacity, in part-time roles and on flexible hours are on the rise, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ recently released Now and Then—50 Years of the Labour Force Report.
Both employees and employers are embracing changes that see more positions in project-based/contract and part-time work, and roles with flexible hours.
“We’re seen a huge movement to part-time in the last few years, especially for women and baby boomers,” said Fiona Anson, co-founder of part-time job website HireMeUp.com.au. Two years ago, the website noticed a trend in baby boomers looking to work part-time instead of retiring completely.
Anson says the nature of part-time work has also changed. Although family-friendly leave provisions, affordable childcare and flexible hours still top the list for working parents, mobile technology has seen a rise in work-from-home positions.
“A few years ago, we all had to go into the office to get access to equipment and information, now all that’s available via the internet. With more and more businesses storing documents in the cloud as well as running systems remotely through it, working from home is now becoming a preferred option for many,” said Anson.
Mobile technology has also provided alternative opportunities for job seekers as businesses become more open to the idea of replacing full-time positions with part-time and project-based staff.
The benefits of this type of hiring means businesses have access to a wider talent pool, she noted. “There’s a goldmine of talent in the pool of part-time workers that many companies just don’t recognise. Company managers, CEOs, top-drawer PAs and highly-skilled IT people are among some of the skilled job seekers we find who are looking for work to fit around their family responsibilities.”
Anson believes this puts work/life balance within reach of more workers. “Full time, 9-to-5 and office bound is far from the only option any more.”
Women make up 75% of all part-time workers, although statistics show a trend toward older men opting for less hours.