Is Flexible Working Still an Employee Benefit?


HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Friday, December 9, 2016

With an increasing number of professionals wanting some level of flexible working, can it still be considered a benefit?

Article 2 Minutes
Is Flexible Working Still an Employee Benefit?

A study from BT found that more than three-quarters of employees (76 per cent) rank flexible working among their top three benefits. The Mobile Multiplier report found that more than two-thirds (67 per cent) rated not being tied to the office above other benefits like having a company car.

It also found that younger people were more likely to prioritize flexible working when it came to choosing a new place to work. The study revealed that 40 per cent of respondents aged 25-34 years old cited it as their top employee benefit, while a similar number of 35-44 year olds (39 per cent) gave it the same weight.  However, when looking at older employees, the figures dropped to around a third (35 per cent of 45-54 years olds and 31 per cent of 55-64 year olds).

Is flexible working a benefit?

With such a significant number of people under the age of 45 rating flexible working so highly, can it still be considered a perk? This demographic will be the one that dominates the workplace over the next few decades, so businesses may find they experience trouble securing the talent they need if they don't offer it.

Research shows that it is particularly popular with millennials, which means that figures could change dramatically over the next ten years, with employers having to move away from the traditional working environment.

The reason behind this

This is because millennials - those born between 1982 and 1997 - now make up the majority of the workforce in many countries and have very different motivations than the generation before them.

A survey in 2015 found that this younger demographic has different priorities in the workplace, with 85 per cent wanting to telecommunicate all the time, and 54 per cent looking for a flexible schedule.

These preferences will continue to change the working landscape as employers look to attract this talented group of candidates.

With this in mind, flexible working may no longer be considered a benefit but something that companies should look to offer as standard if they want to appeal to professionals from this demographic.

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