Flexibility is top of mind for workers today. Even as some companies consider bringing back workers to the office full-time, it's a good idea to understand why employees and active job seekers prefer a more flexible approach.
Offering employees remote-first or hybrid work allows them to control their own schedules and perform their jobs when they are most productive. And data backs this up. Providing a more flexible environment shows your teams that you understand work is not a one-size-fits-all proposition and allows them to do their best work in the manner that best fits their work style.
Based on new data from a study by JazzHR, here are ten statistics on why work flexibility matters more than ever based on findings from the Q1 2023 Employ Quarterly Insights Report. This report examines workers' motivations, similarities, and differences based on a survey of more than 1,500 workers conducted by Zogby Analytics in January 2023.
10 New Insights on Job Seeker Preferences for Workplace Flexibility
1. Active Job Seekers Prioritize Work Flexibility and Remote Work Opportunities
After compensation and career advancement, greater work flexibility and remote work opportunities are viewed by 45% of job seekers as a top reason they seek new roles and begin their job hunt in the first place. With nearly 1 in 2 job seekers looking for positions that give them a more flexible approach, it's essential to understand how to leverage workplace flexibility as a tool for talent attraction.
2. Job Seekers Consider the Ability to Work Remotely Important When Rejecting or Accepting a Job Offer
More than two-thirds (67%) of active job seekers look for remote work as a deciding factor in accepting or rejecting a new job offer. Employers should recognize that candidates are looking for opportunities to stay flexible in their approach to work. By emphasizing flexibility in recruiting and candidate messaging, companies can differentiate themselves to candidates.
3. Workplace Flexibility Enables Greater Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Workers from all walks of life today consider remote work and workplace flexibility necessary. This figure is highest among African American workers (78%), Millennials (77%), and workers with children under age 18 (80%). Ensuring that work flexibility is part of your structure enables a wider variety of employees to contribute to your company and provides greater access and equity to your roles.
4. The Preference for Hybrid Work Is Rising
More than 40% of workers want a flexible workplace and seek balance in their ability to work from home and at the office. 20% of employees prefer flexible workplace arrangements, a six percent increase since 2022, and just under one in four (24%) look for a balance of 50/50 remote and in-office arrangements. That number has increased by three percent since last year. Seeking this office-remote blend and providing a strong culture that promotes flexibility and balance is an ideal strategy for companies in the new normal of work.
5. Full-Time Remote and In-Office Work Is on the Decline
Just one in four workers (24%) prefer the ability to work 100% remotely, representing a six percent decline over the past year. However, only 21% of workers want to work 100% in-office, which was a five percent decline during the previous year. Companies need to be more flexible in their approach. Employers would do well to remember that requiring either in-office or remote work can decrease their ability to attract and retain talent.
6. A Generational Divide Exists Between Worker Preferences for Remote Work
Generation X workers are the only age group where the top two work setups are either 100% in-office (28%) or 100% remote (25%). Other age groups — from Gen Z and Millennials to Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation — lean more toward flexible/mixed work arrangements.
7. Job Seekers May Decline Job Offers for Full-Time On-site Positions
More than one in four job seekers (26%) say that if they received a job offer that required them to work entirely on-site, they would reject the offer altogether. This should be a cautionary tale to employers who seek to require mandatory on-site attendance for roles that can be completed through a more hybrid approach.
8. Greater Flexibility Is a Big Motivator to Look for Another Job
Employees admit they are motivated by several factors to consider applying for other jobs. Experiencing limited career advancement barely edges out the desire to seek greater workplace flexibility at 40.3% versus 40.2% respectively. Remember, employees may be tempted to go elsewhere if you are not offering a more flexible work environment.
9. New Employees May Leave Without Flexibility
Employ data reveals that one in three new employees may leave the business within 90 days. And for one in four new hires, the primary reason is limited flexibility to work from home/remotely. For companies today, it's difficult enough to find new talent to fill open roles; make sure the lack of flexibility is not the reason they leave prematurely.
10. A Majority of Workers Are Open to Other Job Opportunities
While 73% of US workers today say they are satisfied with their current jobs, 85% of employees are open to other opportunities. And 50% of workers say they would apply for a job if a recruiter approached them. Remember, while your current employees may not be actively looking, they may be motivated if they are approached with a job that offers them more flexibility. Make sure to make workplace flexibility a mainstay of your talent attraction and talent retention strategy.
Remote Work Is Here to Stay
And workers will continue to demand it. The question is, how will your company respond? With these new data in mind, consider how you can enhance workplace flexibility, promote hybrid work options, and support employees no matter where they are. It's the key to getting the best talent for your company and keeping them long-term.
Learn More About GoCo + JazzHR
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