Over the past few years I’ve observed a surge in the overriding reason people want to move jobs and it’s a combination of the desire to gain a better balance between their work and personal life (work/life balance) and more flexibility in how they do their job. Sure, all those other motivations for changing jobs are still there such as wanting an increase in responsibility, career progression, working for an aspirational brand or company, more money etc. However increasingly, the number 1 reason that candidates wish to move jobs is for a better work/ life balance and more flexible approach to their jobs. So why is this the case and why is it often a deal breaker for candidates if they don’t see that flexible approach to work.
In todays increasingly hectic, fast paced and technologically advanced world its easier than ever to work remotely and still be productive. Working remotely empowers people and arguably you can be more productive when you are away from a head office environment, away from unnecessary meetings, free from interruptions, less time commuting etc. I appreciate a lot of this depends on the type of work you do however I’ve observed that people hold more importance on the ability of working from home over pay. Working remotely or having a flexible approach to your work allows people to successfully juggle a high power career and balanced personal/ family life. In a recent survey by YouGov, they asked ‘Do you work remotely as often as you’d like to? 76% of people said no.
Alison Coleman, a Business journalist said “People spend hours travelling to work, meetings, conferences, and huge sums of money on fuel or public transport. Last summer, some of the UK’s biggest companies signed up to the Agile Future Forum (AFF), a commitment to flexible working after finding that ‘agility’ in staff hours and locations can cut workforce costs by as much as 13%.”
With this in mind, if you’re an employer I would invite you to think about how a flexible working policy could give you a distinct advantage over your competitors and allow access to a greater pool of candidates. Allowing greater flexibility will empower your employees and potentially increase productivity (create a results based mentality not an archaic ‘who does more hours’ mentality) and in addition you’ll have more loyal and dedicated people as a result. Also, if you are struggling to afford a candidate, could you offer a flexible working approach as an alternative to salary to seal the deal?
In conclusion, I believe companies that embrace a more flexible/ remote working style in the future will thrive due to the ability to attract and retain top talent as they continue to seek balance between a successful career and home life.
I’d welcome your thoughts and experiences of having increased working flexibility and how its made a difference for you (good or bad)?