April 24, 2015
The days when staff would commit to a business for life and be chained to a desk for upwards of 10 hours per day are long gone, as today’s employees increasingly seek flexible work. According to a survey of over 1,000 UK workers by PageGroup, 26 percent of people would cite flexible working as the most important consideration for their next job, compared to 18 percent who cited it as a primary consideration in their current role. Across all age categories, respondents are more motivated by the opportunity to work flexibly than they were at the start of their career, with 57 percent of respondents highlighting this as a key motivator. Forward-thinking organisations, particularly the media and tech start-ups typified by those based at London’s Silicon Roundabout, are now high on the wish list for candidates.
The majority of workers live in proximity to the cities and hubs they work in, with 38 percent of respondents living 0-5 miles from their place of work and 25 percent living 5-10 miles. But despite just 11 percent of respondents living a significant distance from their place of work (25+ miles) while the ‘city’ way of working is still an established norm, flexible working practices are seen as the ideal.
Only 17 percent of respondents have been exposed to the option of a flexible working pattern in the last 12 months, and only 7 percent had applied for this change. Despite this, people now aspire to achieve a better work/life balance, and when accepting their current role, job titles, opportunities for professional development and flexibility were chosen over the more traditional draws such as brand and culture.
According to the report businesses need to acknowledge this cultural shift and recognise the changing attitudes towards the structure and habits of the office environment. As organisations become more comfortable with this they should embrace different ways of working, assessing benefits for both themselves and candidates alike.
Oliver Watson, Managing Director PageGroup commented: “It is vital that businesses take the time to understand the impact that social and cultural changes – such as motivators, flexible working and increased equality in the workplace – have on potential candidates and their requirements from a role.
He added: “If they don’t, businesses could face losing out on talent due to their antiquated opinions and attitudes towards their employee offerings.”
Candidates and careers: a step change can be downloaded here.