An Irish survey has also found that four out of five people believe that flexible work should be a legal right for everyone in the workplace. Two thirds of people surveyed said that flexibility is the most important thing for them when looking for a job. This comes well ahead of salary (8%) and location (13%).
The survey was conducted in early September with more than 670 people across Ireland and was conducted by flexible recruitment agency, Employflex.
Just slightly over half of those surveyed said they work in a flexible workplace while two in five don’t know if their company even has a flexible work policy. Nine out of ten people said they would leave their current job if they were offered flexibility in another role.
In order to retain talent, nine out of ten people surveyed said that offering flexibility is the way to retain talent. This was followed by encouraging career progression and offering nice perks.
Over half of people surveyed said they would not feel comfortable asking their employer for flexibility. Most people surveyed said flexible work would allow people a better work/life balance, followed by allowing them to spend more quality time with family and kids. One in five said it would make life less stressful for them. When it comes to the type of flexible work that employees look for it varies from remote to part-time to job share.
Commenting on the survey, Founder of Employflex, Karen O’Reilly said, "In today’s world flexibility at work is possible with the developments in technology. Companies need to move away from the “seat-warmer” mentality and realise that flexible work can work for everyone. It is alarming to see from the survey that so many people would not feel comfortable asking for flexible work but when it comes to the priority for employees, it is all about flexibility."
She added, "We are standing on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution but many companies are still stuck back in the stone ages when it comes to allowing flexibility."