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Schedule flexibility is one of the top three factors considered by candidates

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Workplace flexibility has become a top priority for today’s jobseekers, with two-thirds (63%) of candidates believing they don’t need to be behind a desk to get work done, found a new research from ManpowerGroup Solutions.

In fact, surveying nearly 14,000 individuals globally, the research titled Work, for Me: Understanding Candidate Preferences for Flexibility, found that nearly 40% of global candidates report that schedule flexibility is one of the top three factors they consider when making career decisions.

In general, the most desired types of flexible workplace policies include flexible arrival and departure times, as well as full-time work from home/location independence.

More than a quarter (26%) of global candidates say flexible arrival and departure times are most important, followed closely by the ability to work from home or any other place they choose (22%).  Choice in the timing of work shifts is considered third most desirable (15%). While caregiving leave sabbaticals and unlimited paid time off are the least popular with approximately 5% of global candidates.

ManpowerGroup flexibility survey


The survey also pointed out that while flexibility is often correlated with part-time work and the gig-economy has enabled new work models other than full-time permanent employment, it is also important to full-time workers.

Among those who prioritise flexibility as a top-three motivator, the majority (54%) currently prefer full-time work arrangements to meet their needs.

It noted that employers who rely on full-time employees should recognise that flexible work arrangements are important to them: they want to work full time — but they need flexibility that can accommodate their work-life balance.

ALSO READ: HR professionals would take a pay cut for more flexibility

“Workplace flexibility doesn’t just mean working remotely. It includes all types of working arrangements, from when to take breaks, working from home or caregiving leave. While no employer can accommodate every option, they can provide a range that appeal to a variety of candidates,” said Linda Teo, country manager, ManpowerGroup Singapore.

“It’s clear that candidates across the globe seek a way to achieve ‘One Life,’ which means integrating work and home life. Organisations need to be ready to drop old work models that emphasise presenteeism over performance. It’s time to shift the needle – employers who meet candidate expectations around schedule flexibility have the advantage in recruiting and retaining the best talent.”

Knowing how schedule flexibility is a priority for today’s job seekers, ManpowerGroup Solutions shared three practical recommendations for employers in a world of flexible workplaces:

  • Take baby steps
    A company does not have to force the transition from traditional to virtual workplace overnight. Shift to a 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. schedule or designate a number of remote working flex days to combat long commute times.
  • Normalise existing flexibility policies
    Neutralise flexibility stigma by changing company culture to make working outside the office acceptable. It starts from the top – leaders need to be transparent and lead by example.
  • Align incentives with outcomes
    Replacing face-time requirements with logged hours on a virtual private network (VPN) can be perceived by employees as inauthentic. Instead, set goals and deadlines – if employees meet them, managers can worry less about clocking in and out.

Photo / 123RF

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