Half of Aussies, Kiwis Ready to Quit Jobs That Aren’t Flexible

Almost half of Australian and New Zealand workers are likely to resign from their current position if they aren’t provided with sufficient flexibility in a post-Covid environment, according to new research.

Some 47% of employees surveyed said they would probably quit rather than return to a rigid schedule, Ernst & Young Global Ltd. said Wednesday. Given a choice between the flexibility of location and hours, 52% preferred flexibility when they work, compared with 40% who wanted it for where they work.

The survey found 55% of respondents agreed that a Covid-19 vaccination should be mandatory for all workers to return safely to work. Some 23% disagreed.

“The pandemic has shown that flexible working arrangements are not only possible but desirable,” said Matt Lovegrove, a partner at EY. “With growing optimism about the economy and job market and the lack of ‘business as usual’ access to skilled migration pools, employees are increasingly willing to vote with their feet to find a set of arrangements that work best for them.”

Australia and New Zealand’s economies recovered rapidly from the pandemic as they managed to suppress Covid-19 early and revive confidence with massive fiscal and monetary stimulus. The two labor markets have improved quickly, with Australian unemployment down almost 2 percentage points from its pandemic peak and New Zealand’s jobless rate declining to 4.7% in the first quarter, according to data released Wednesday.

The views expressed by respondents “present both an opportunity and threat for companies as they battle for talent ramps up even further,” said Lovegrove.

At the same time, the survey showed 70% of Australian and New Zealand workers believe fully remote work would impact their career opportunities.