The medical industry is incredibly diverse. With so many roles in the industry, from doctors to dentists through to sales and admin support, it’s no surprise that the health sector is Australia’s largest employer, with approximately one in eight Australians working in this industry.
While many roles in healthcare are required to be done on site, there are many that can be done completely remote. Although you might instantly think of a health practitioner in their office, these days, many roles in healthcare can be done from anywhere.
If we’ve learned anything from the past few years, it’s that our priorities have been put into perspective, opening our eyes to new ways of working and the benefits that come with it. With many workers in Australia still working remotely at least some of the time, it’s now become a normal part of our everyday life – and employees are seeking greater work-life balance that remote work offers.
With the healthcare industry desperately seeking workers and the unemployment rate sitting at a 48-year low of 3.5%, employers are coming face to face with one of the most labour-tight markets we’ve ever seen.
Earlier this year, the team at Employment Hero surveyed over 1,000 workers asking about their working habits, and how the pandemic has impacted how and where they work. We found that many employers are at a crossroads, especially as debates around returning to the workplace full-time are heating up.
The most obvious finding from the research? Flexibility is key for retaining your team.
When breaking down the data, there were clear expectations from employees on the table. The majority of knowledge workers (83%) want to continue working remotely for at least one day a week, and if an employer were to insist on a full time return to the office – they could see their turnover rate skyrocket. In fact, 50% of hybrid and remote workers stated they would consider quitting their job if their employer directed them to return to the office full-time.
But it’s not just about employee expectations, there are significant business benefits that also come with this working model, for those who are able to offer it.
A recent study by Gartner revealed that 43% of people believe flexible working helped them achieve higher levels of productivity, and 30% said that spending no time commuting increased their productivity.
While not all roles can be done remotely in healthcare, there are many that can. It’s important to consider what your team wants, especially in a time where finding and retaining talent is harder than ever. The last thing you want is your team resigning when you direct everyone to return to the office full-time…
Another key finding from the research was the many benefits remote working provides when it comes to supporting mental health and work-life balance – two areas that have been at the top of every employer’s list over the past few years.
According to the Black Dog Institute, one in five Australians aged 16-85 will experience mental illness in any year. What’s more concerning is that an estimated 45% of Australians will experience mental illness at some stage in their lifetime.
In the Employment Hero Wellness at Work Report, 52% of respondents said that their stress levels were negatively impacted due to Covid-19, and those aged 18-24 were 25% more likely to feel stressed.
We all know that when work begins to eat into personal life, employees are at greater risk of burnout, reduced productivity and the knock-on effects that come with it. Remote and hybrid working could be the answer to supporting and protecting your teams’ wellbeing.
When looking at the data, the findings support the case for better balance between professional and personal lives. 81% of respondents stated that hybrid and remote working were better for maintaining work-life balance, while 74% stated that hybrid and remote working are better at protecting employee mental health.
It’s clear that the pandemic has caused huge disruption to the way we work, and the trends that have developed during this time will continue on long after the pandemic is gone. For employers to keep up, it’s crucial to be supportive and adapt to the changing needs of your team. Use this unique time as an opportunity to try new ways of working – ask your team what they want, how they prefer to work and you’ll create a more engaged, equal and happy workforce.
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For more helpful insights around employee wellbeing, download the 2022 Remote Work report.