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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

High job satisfaction figures 'great story for NZ'

The majority of Kiwis enjoy a good work life balance and are satisfied with their jobs because New Zealand is such a great place to live, an employment commentator says.

A survey of working life by Statistics New Zealand found 85% of all employed people were 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with their main jobs.

Just one in 20 people were 'dissatisfied' or 'very dissatisfied'.

Employment commentator Jason Ennor said the overall result of the survey was great.

"Great story for New Zealand, great story for working life in New Zealand."

Even those workers who do long hours manage to balance work and life really well, he said.

"We've got access to some beautiful, beautiful country, and overall I think a country that's pretty chilled out. It's a great place to live."

In a recent international survey New Zealand also scored seven points ahead of the global average of work life balance.

"I think that really shows our willingness to adopt new technology, flexible work practices, cloud-based services, being able to operate anywhere, being able to live at the beach and work from the beach."

"Kiwis are naturally very very eager to adopt change. We punch above our weight globally in tech fields."

The survey also showed many employers work long hours.

"I think that talks to our entrepreneurial spirit and culture, we're a country of small business," Mr Ennor said.

"People go out there and work hard on their own ventures. They love it, they're passionate about it."

But it wasn't all good.

Ten percent of workers reported they had been discriminated against, harassed or bullied in the workplace.

"Any form of discrimination or harassment is not welcome. That's old school management practice that we don't really need."

It would be great to see that figure down to 1% of zero, said Mr Ennor.

Also of concern was an overrepresentation of women in the temporary workforce.

While 90% of workers were in permanent employment, 10% were in temporary roles, the Survey of Working Life said.

"The number one reason was they didn't have any choice, the industry only offered them temp work, and over half of them said they would work on a permanent basis if they had the option to do so."

"Of that temporary workforce female workers are definitely overrepresented," Mr Ennor said, with 60% of temp workers female.

The Survey of Working Life is based on a sample of 14,500 employed New Zealanders.

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