Employee preferences for work-life benefits in a large New Zealand construction company

Emily Morrison, Derek Thurnell

Abstract


The construction industry is a challenging environment in which to work, with job characteristics that are linked to work-life conflict, and it is important for its future sustainability that initiatives to support employee work-life balance are undertaken. 121 head office and site-based employees within a large New Zealand construction company rated their preferences for work-life benefits, and the results were compared with those of a similar previous (Australian) study. The most preferred work-life benefit factor (as for the previous Australian study) was found to be ‘wellness and personal development’. Results suggest that company provision of a wide variety of work-life benefits from which employees can choose during different stages in their life and career is ideal. Qualitative results suggest some work-life conflict associated with working long hours and weekend work exists. It is proposed that to attract and retain valuable employees, the New Zealand construction industry must provide useful work-life benefits, reasonable working hours, and supportive workplace cultures in line with such initiatives. 


Keywords


Work-life balance, New Zealand, construction company, Human resource management

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