According to a recent study from ManpowerGroup Solutions, the ability to work flexibly is the number one priority for job seekers across the globe, says a news report. Nearly 40% of the 14,000 respondents surveyed across 19 countries are of the opinion that ‘schedule flexibility’ is one of the most important factors while making a career decision.
The research says that about two-thirds of the individuals surveyed believe that they need not necessarily be seated at a desk in order to do work. This makes flexible arrival and departure times, and the option of working full-time from home or location independence as the most desired features of a new workplace. Hence, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 26% of the respondents opined that flexible arrival and departure is the most important aspect of a job search, whereas another 22% said that the ability to work from home or a location of their choice is the top priority.
The report says that “the rise in importance of schedule flexibility is driven by a wide range of local factors like presence of multinational companies or unions at a given location, the influence of technology firms in the marketplace, workforce composition such as the proportion of millennials and public transportation that can impact commuting times.” The survey notes that workplace flexibility is not just about having remote working arrangements, but also includes the ability to take breaks and sabbaticals when needed. Finally, the survey also states that employers need to work towards making their workplaces flexible.
Kate Donovan, Senior Vice President of ManpowerGroup Solutions and Global RPO President says in the report, “While no employer can accommodate every option, they can provide a range that appeals to a variety of candidates... It is time to shift the needle - employers who meet candidate expectations around schedule flexibility have the advantage in recruiting and retaining the best talent.”
She further talks about the need for organizations to shun old and obsolete work models that value presence over performance.
The rapid ascent of workplace flexibility in the priority list for employees in recent times is no happenstance. A recent LinkedIn survey of over 26,000 respondents also indicated that employers are really willing to listen to what the employees want and woo them accordingly. Big organizations, like Google and Facebook, which have workforce in multiple countries, are famous for their flexible work policies. However, anyone keeping a track of the changing dynamics of the workforce would have guessed that in today’s time, employees value their work-life balance and their time beyond work a lot more than the previous generation. Like this survey shows how in India and all over the world, individuals are increasingly giving importance to work-life balance. Or this LeadershipIQ study which suggests that mobile workers seem to enjoy their work more than those who go to the office every day.
With the talent war only intensifying ahead, and disruptive technologies already marking their arrival, one can be assured of the fact that traditional workplace models are about to be turned on their heads. The demand for workplace flexibility is only set to become louder as we proceed in the future, and much will depend on the ability of the employer to ensure that all participating stakeholders are satisfied.