SMEs must offer flexible work or face recruitment and retention challenge 0

Flexible workSMEs that neglect to offer flexible work options may find their employees decide to switch to somewhere that does, according to a survey from Regus. Over 3,000 professionals across a variety of sectors were quizzed on the importance of flexibility in their working life. SME respondents left very little doubt about the value of a flexible approach, with 92 percent of workers in SMEs saying that, faced with a choice of two similar jobs, they would choose the one that offered flexible work. A third of respondents (33 percent) also stated that they would have stayed longer in their previous jobs if flexibility had been offered. According to Richard Morris, UK CEO, Regus, SMEs should think long and hard about the type of roles that they are offering to today’s professionals. He argues that the days of the fixed hours, fixed location job are becoming as outdated as the office fax machine. Flexibility is no longer seen as a perk, it is now a key differentiator for talented individuals.

Said Morris: “A flexible role is one where the individual has more control over where and when they are productive. Managers must get better at measuring on results rather than on time spent at a specified desk. There is also the current business climate to consider. The economic uncertainty requires business to be more agile and nimble so operating with a fluid and flexible workforce, using available workspace, makes real commercial sense. Put simply, those SMEs not thinking flexibly risk a talent drain.”