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The future of work and the increasing need for flexibility

Whether you’re based in the United States, Europe, Africa or Australia, employee surveys are increasingly saying the same thing: employees want flexibility. One McKinsey study revealed that when offered flexible arrangements, 87% of employees took them, and a LinkedIn poll showed that 77% of employees say they prioritise flexible working over a higher salary when considering a new job.

New ways of working, significantly influenced by technological advancements and shifting societal values, are compelling organisations to adopt more flexible work policies.

The good news is that while employees want flexibility, it’s good for business too. According to a Future Forum Pulse survey, workers who have full schedule flexibility have 29% higher productivity and 53% greater ability to focus than workers with no ability to shift their schedule. The Gartner Digital Worker Experience Survey offers similar stats, with 43% of respondents agreeing that flexible working hours help them achieve more productivity, and 30% saying that less or no time commuting allowed them to be more productive.

So, let’s take a look at what is driving this change and how your organisation can make the most of it.

One of the most substantial drivers has of course been the proliferation of digital technology. The internet and cloud-based services enable employees to work from virtually anywhere, making the traditional 9-to-5 office setting less necessary.

At the same time, the modern workforce is increasingly prioritising work-life balance. Particularly among millennials and Gen Z, there is a strong desire for jobs that allow for greater autonomy, flexibility, and the integration of work with personal interests and responsibilities. To attract and retain talent from these generations, companies are adapting by offering more flexible hours, remote work options, and compressed workweeks.

The focus on results rather than hours spent at a desk is becoming more pronounced. With advanced tracking and project management tools, employers are shifting towards setting clear goals and assessing performance based on outcomes. This results-oriented approach aligns well with flexible work policies, as it allows employees the freedom to work when they are most productive, regardless of time and location.

Finally, businesses are facing the reality that the nature of work is changing. With the rise of the gig economy and freelance work, there’s a growing contingent of professionals who are not tied to a single employer. Companies are responding by creating more fluid work relationships, hiring contractors and freelancers for specific projects rather than full-time employees.

Making the most of flexible work policies

How can your organisation leverage more flexible work policies to attract and retain talent? First, understand that flexible work policies can serve as a significant draw for potential employees who are looking for a better balance between their professional and personal lives.

By offering options such as remote work, flexible hours, or a four-day workweek, organisations can appeal to candidates who value autonomy and control over their schedules. This can be especially attractive to top talent who may have multiple offers and are weighing the benefits of each potential employer.

By providing flexible work options, your business can also reduce the geographical barriers to employment, allowing you to access skills and expertise that may be scarce in your immediate vicinity. This also positions your company as forward-thinking and adaptive to global trends, which can be attractive to professionals who are looking for innovative and progressive workplaces.

Retention is another critical area where flexible policies prove beneficial. These policies contribute to higher job satisfaction When people are afforded the latitude to work in ways that suit them best, they are often more motivated, engaged, and committed to their employer. This can lead to reduced turnover rates and lower recruitment costs.

Once you embrace flexible work policies, you are essentially signalling that your company is adaptable and responsive to change, qualities that are highly regarded by employees today. Top talent is not just looking for a job; they are looking for an environment where they can grow and take on new challenges. By cultivating a culture that allows for work-life integration and professional development, organisations can become more appealing to those who want to build a career, not just clock in hours.

Finding top talent

For almost 50 years, Quest has been a trusted link between exceptional talent and employers in South Africa. We pride ourselves on service excellence and the quality of our people. We provide businesses with flexible access to high-performing talent, delivered by experts and supported by intelligent insights.

© 2023 Quest by
Adcorp

Johannesburg:
Adcorp Place
102 Western Service Road,
Gallo Manor Ext 6

Call us +27 10 800 0000

Cape Town:
2nd Floor Gihon Building,
Bill Bezuidenhoudt Ave
Bellville 7530

Tel: +27 21 558 2999

Durban:
5-7 Hampden Court
Hampden Road, Morningside

Tel: +27 31 201 2499

© 2023 Quest by
Adcorp

Contact details

Johannesburg:
Adcorp Place
102 Western Service Road,
Gallo Manor Ext 6
info@quest.co.za
Call us +27 10 800 0000

Cape Town:
2nd Floor Gihon Building,
Bill Bezuidenhoudt Ave
Bellville 7530
info@quest.co.za
Tel: +27 21 558 2999

Durban:
5-7 Hampden Court
Hampden Road, Morningside
info@quest.co.za
Tel: +27 31 201 2499

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