|Posted on 1 February, 2016 at 4:05|
We all want it, but what is it?
Career advice 28 January 2016
Career advice , Career progression , Work life balance , SEEK
The days of working nine-to-five are all but over, with many Aussie professionals embracing flexible working arrangements and hours as a means of achieving greater balance between work and home, and being happier and more productive in their careers.
Experts talk a great deal about work-life balance, and 92% of Australians say this sweetener would have an impact on their decision to change careers. Much more than a recruitment buzz-term to pique the interest of candidates, work-life balance has become a significant deciding factor for professionals in which roles they seek, and which companies they choose to work with. So what exactly is work-life balance? And why is there such wide desire for it?
What is work-life balance?
Like many of the best things in life, work-life balance means different things to different people. For 34% of us it means having flexible working hours and opportunities to work remotely, while 27% see balance as finding work that doesn’t disrupt life at home. A further 23% value balance as the ability to accumulate hours towards personal time, and 15% think work-life balance can be achieved by working only agreed set hours, no overtime.
While high-level employees and the self-employed tend to value flexible hours and locations, mid-management employees value the ability to time-bank and accumulate hours towards personal time off. Part-time employees tend to favour work that doesn’t disrupt home life, while entry-level employees value set hours and not working overtime.
Australia-wide, professionals are fairly happy with their work-life balance, though Australian Capital Territory leads the way with 68% of professionals stating they are happy with their work-life balance. This is followed closely by 62% of professionals in Tasmania, and 61% in Victoria, Queensland and Northern Territory.
Of Australian men surveyed, 35% valued flexible working hours and locations, followed by the ability to time-bank hours for personal leave (27%), work that doesn’t disrupt home life (23%) and no overtime (14%). Similarly, 33% of women value flexible working hours and locations most in their quest for work-life balance, followed by work that doesn’t disrupt home life (31%), the ability to time-bank (20%) and no overtime (16%).
How to achieve work-life balance
Looking to improve work-life balance in your current role? Try one of these 5 simple strategies.
Consider your current workload. Assess whether or not the number of tasks you have to complete is reasonable within your normal working hours. If you have too much on your plate, talk to your colleagues and see if there is any room to share out those additional responsibilities.
Talk to your employer. If you feel like you’re currently stretched too thin, a chat you’re your seniors might help you work out how to achieve greater work-life balance. You may be able to negotiate flexible working hours in lieu for overtime worked, or organise some work from home days.
Taking work home should be the exception, not the rule. While it’s sometimes inevitable, avoid taking work home where possible, so you can spend your time away from work relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends.
Work smarter, rather than longer. Look for ways to boost your productivity during your normal working hours so you can avoid overtime and subsequent burnout.
Make the most of your free time. When you’re away from work, take time to relax and regroup – but also find time to do the things you love. Doing something fun with your weekends and evenings will make your down-time feel more meaningful.
|Posted on 11 October, 2015 at 1:35|
A Perth businessman felt his "heart race" and then his "stomach churn" after he received a message on his answering machine from the Australian Taxation Office telling him his arrest was "imminent".
But the savvy financial consultant soon clued on to the fact he had been targeted by a conman pretending to be Jason O'Connor from the ATO.
"I knew they wouldn't string someone up like that," the businessman said.
"They would write a letter first.
"Then there's the other stuff, the accent and his terminology.
"But, yeah, it scared the s--t out of me."
The businessman, who said he did not want to be named in a story associated with a tax scam, is not the first person to be targeted by the man pretending to be Jason O'Connor.
The con starts with a grim warning.
"This is Jason O'Connor calling you from the Australian Tax Office," the message began.
"The nature of the purpose of this call is just to inform you that a law suit has been filed against your name concerning a tax evasion...
"Before things go wrong against you, before one of the police officers from the local police department contacts you and issues a warrant for your arrest, call 02 6140 3445."
The businessman, who has been a financial consultant for more than 30 years, said the man gave the game away through his unusual accent and his use of phrases.
He said "Mr O'Connor" employed foreign terms, such as "contact your attorney", redundant ones, like "a legal lawsuit has been filed against you", and phrases, such as "the Commonwealth Department of Public and Prosecutions", which were simply wrong.
The businessman said he called "Mr O'Connor" back and tried to play him at his own game – deception.
He told "Mr O'Connor" that he also worked for the tax office and suggested they catch up for a coffee. But "Mr O'Connor" declined the offer and hung up the phone.
Others have not been so lucky.
WA's Department of Consumer Protection said an 81-year-old man looking after his sick wife was recently conned out of $110,000 by the tax-scam con – the largest loss of this type of scam in the state's history.
Threats were also made of the potential loss of employment of his three children, according to consumer protection.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said, with more than 800 calls received about the ATO scam, she was alarmed by the huge increase in reported losses resulting from the scam.
"I am concerned that the increasingly threatening nature of the ATO scam calls is intimidating many in our community, including seniors, with the urgent demands forcing victims to respond and lose their money to these heartless and ruthless criminals," Ms Driscoll said.
"The ATO scam has been around for many years but I am disturbed that the scammers have now heightened their threatening tactics to coerce their victims into transferring money in order to pay fictitious tax bills or get fictitious refunds or rebates.
"The most recent tactic has been hostile threats of court action, an arrest warrant or even prison for tax evasion unless money is paid as soon as possible."
The Australian Taxation Office was also concerned. Second Commissioner Geoff Leeper urged the public to be cautious when dealing with cold callers.
"We make thousands of outbound calls to taxpayers a week, but there are some key differences to a legitimate call from the ATO and a call from a potential scammer," said Mr Leeper.
"We would never cold call you about a debt, we would never threaten jail or arrest and our staff certainly wouldn't behave in an aggressive manner. If you're not sure, hang up and call us back on 13 28 69."
Follow WAtoday on Twitter