Health policies major factor in employer attractiveness: FlexCareers

Employee hygiene, physical and mental health and overall wellness are set to escalate in importance following the coronavirus pandemic.

According to FlexCareers, strong workplace safety culture will infiltrate offices this year the same way it did mining and construction sites back in the 1980s and 1990s.

With the focus on mining safety leading the way, FlexCareers noted that Australian workplaces were at a turning point of change in the way they handled workplace health and safety.

FlexCareers surveyed 1622 employees for the 2020 FlexCareers report, which has shown jobseekers’ change in priorities when it comes to a new workplace.

Of the respondents, 89 per cent rated their future employer’s work health and safety policy as “important” or “very important” when assessing an employer, and more than half (53 per cent) stated they were “worried about office cleanliness and hygiene”.

The survey uncovered that workers were assessing companies’ health policies more seriously than ever before and there was an overwhelming preference for remote work, with only 5 per cent of workers wanting to return to the office completely.

FlexCareers co-founder and chief executive Joel McInnes said employees wanted to know how their employer was looking after their physical and mental health while at work.

“They are asking, ‘How are you going to keep me safe and let me work flexibly if I need to?’,” McInnes said.

“More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of people we spoke to are looking to pursue professional education independently of their employer and even pay for it themselves, in order to secure against future job losses.”

With many workers worried about their job security and realising their skillset may not line up to future work opportunities, 18 per cent of employed people responded that they would be seeking a second income.

Forty per cent of workers are considering switching careers as a result of the pandemic and 45 per cent are aiming to switch industries entirely.

“As people assess their potential employer today, they’re assuming they’ll be made redundant in three years’ time,” McInnes said.

“They’re thinking; before you sack me, what skills can I expect from you hat will put me in a better position to face work in three years’ time.”