WORKPLACES that work for their employees are increasingly becoming the norm.
Forsyths accounting firm is the latest to join the trend of employers offering flexible working hours to the masses.
Gym junkie accountant Daniel Allen spent the last three years studying full time, and found the transition into traditional working hours difficult.
“It meant I had less time for things I care about, especially sport and my fitness,” he said.
“The one hour for lunch we’re provided standard is not quite long enough for a shower, getting to the gym and back for work.
“So getting up earlier and having a flexible working arrangement will be awesome and I know my workmates will appreciate it greatly.”
It’s one of the first regional businesses in Australia to implement the new policy that allows full time workers to choose their hours between 7am and 7pm.
Forsyths will also contribute up to $200 each year towards sporting or fitness activities.
From December 1, modern awards will include new rules about requests for flexible work arrangements and can only be refused on reasonable business grounds according to Fair Work.
It includes changes to start and finish times, split shifts and job sharing and the ability to work from home.
The decision was made to support a healthier working environment principal Andrew Kirk said.
“We’ve introduced this policy because we want to support health and wellness among our team and enhance the opportunity for a greater work life balance,” he said.
“Under the policy, team members can choose to work early mornings some days and start later on others – they may choose to have a longer break in the middle of the day or work part of the day remotely.
And, mother-of-three Andrea Fleming is excited to take advantage of the new offering.
Under traditional nine to five hours, Ms Fleming’s children had to be up at 5:30am and on the school bus by seven, now she hopes she’ll be able to spend more time with her kids.
“It means I’ll be able to work from home and I won’t lose any money, because full time work is important so it’s good to get,” she said.
“It will be a big bonus for me and my family because I live out of town.”
In Australia there is a shortage of accountants, bringing challenges to businesses in the financial sector and forcing employers to come up with new ways of working.
“Gone are the days where jobs start at nine and finish at five,” Mr Kirk said.
It’s open to employees in Tamworth, Armidale, Inverell, Gunnedah and Coonabarabran.