Flexible ways of working are definitely on the rise and it suits all ages

The majority (94 percent) of workers are open to flexible ways of working such as part-time, freelance, contract, temporary or independent contract work a new report from ManpowerGroup has revealed. Coining the trend as NextGen work, the research suggests this approach to a job is a choice (81 percent) not a last resort (19 percent). Findings from #GigResponsibly: The Rise of NextGen Work – a global survey of 9,500 people in 12 countries – identifies a shift towards this new way of getting work done, and that it works for people and employers. People were asked how they want to work, what motivates them and their views on NextGen Work. More control over their schedule (42 percent), boosting their bank account (41 percent) and developing new skills (38 percent) are top reasons why this flexible kind of work is on the rise.  The report also found that this flexible approach is not just attractive to Millennials, as meaningful work and employer appreciation are valued more by Boomers than any other generation. More than 80 percent of US workers say NextGen Work is a choice, not a last resort, and builds resilience for less predictable futures.

“The US labour market is fundamentally changing. We’re seeing a growing number of people opting for alternative models over traditional roles. They want flexible careers, the opportunity to develop new skills and to be able to blend work and home more easily,” said Becky Frankiewicz, President, ManpowerGroup North America.

“At the same time, companies want workforce solutions that find them the best talent when business models and skills needs are changing faster than ever. That’s why NextGen Work is on the rise.”

The vast majority of workers (94 percent), spanning five generations and both genders, are open to NextGen Work for their next or future position, but their motives vary.

Men are slightly more likely than women to look for flexibility to spend time with family (32 percent vs 29 percent) and to seek a less stressful environment (30 percent vs 27 percent).

Younger Millennials (age 18-24) and Boomers (age 50-65) prioritize the same things: pay (60 percent vs 65 percent) and work/life balance (48 percent vs 64 percent). Engaging in work that is meaningful to them is also a priority for both generations.

Conversely, appetite for learning peaks among older millennials and declines with age.

NextGen Work is a global phenomenon. Emerging markets like India and Mexico are leading the way with the greatest openness to freelance, contract, temporary or independent contract work (97 percent), with mature markets – including the U.S. (94 percent), with the UK and Australia  – close behind (90 and 92 percent respectively). Germany, Netherlands and Japan are more resistant to NextGen Work.

Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO, spoke at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (4 October 2017) on “The Future of Work: Making Decent Work a Reality.” He talked of the rising global demand for NextGen Work, what workers want, and what business, education and government can do to enable NextGen.

Read the full report here: #GigResponsibly: The Rise of NextGen Work