Majority of Australians willing to sacrifice salary for benefits

Robert Half research has found Australians increasingly value flexible working arrangements, for many even over a higher salary. Read more here.

  • 84% of Australian workers would accept a lower salary in return for benefits.
  • Of those that would accept lower pay in return for benefits, the top three preferred benefits are: flexible working hours (47%), option to work from home (40%), and increased annual leave (37%). 

New research has found there’s been a shift in the workplace as Australians increasingly value flexible working arrangements, for many even over a higher salary. The survey of 1,000 Australian office workers, commissioned by specialised recruitment firm Robert Half and published in the newly-released 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide, found the majority (84%) of Australian office workers are willing to accept a lower salary for more benefits. 

Flexibility tops the charts as almost half (47%) would be willing to accept lower pay in return for flexible working hours. Other preferred benefits include the option to work from home (40%), increased holiday allowance (37%), medical benefits (36%) and travel allowances such as company cars and fuel expenses (31%). 

Andrew Brushfield, Director of Robert Half Australia said: “While salary is a prime motivator and the main incentive of a remuneration package, it is one component. Flexibility is increasingly becoming one of the most in-demand workplace benefits and Australians are actively seeking out job opportunities that not only satisfy their monetary ambitions but also their lifestyle needs, such as flexible working hours, the ability to work from home or additional holidays.” 

“In a market characterised by slow wage growth, Australian companies might not be in a position to award pay rises or higher starting salaries. In such cases, employees should consider negotiating for benefits other than more pay, such as training and professional development opportunities or more leave.”

“Employers are fast realising these non-monetary benefits help to build a satisfied, motivated, productive and loyal workforce. In a candidate-short employment market, Australian companies benefit from diversifying their incentives offerings beyond the purely financial aspect in order to attract and retain high-calibre professionals,” Andrew Brushfield concluded. 


About the Robert Half Salary Guide
The 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide is the most comprehensive and authoritative resource on starting salaries and recruitment trends in finance and accounting, financial services, information technology and administration.

It offers a comprehensive overview of the current salary ranges, industry trends and specific job trends for finance and accounting professionals, finance professionals in the financial services sector, technology professionals and administrative professionals. The results and insights of the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide are based on comprehensive analyses, local job placements, local expertise and independent research of executives and office workers. 

About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in December 2017 by an independent research company, surveying 1,000 office workers from companies across Australia, with the results segmented by age, gender and geographic location. 


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]