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Flexible working essential for job seekers, study finds

Jul 24. 2019
Photo by: IWG
Photo by: IWG
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By The Nation

Flexible working is not just considered a perk for the perfect role, but a must-have when it comes to people taking up a new job offer, a survey has found. 

The Global Workspace Survey from IWG was conducted on over 15,000 professionals from a range of different industries in 80 countries.

When employees were asked to prioritise their preferences on workplace perks, 80 per cent said that when faced with two similar employment offers, they would turn down the one that didn’t offer flexible working.

In addition, 54 per cent said that having a choice of work location was more important to them than an increased holiday allowance, suggesting that workers will deal with the daily grind, as long as they know they will have a little flexibility about where they can open their laptops.

The development of new technologies has long meant that many of us should be able to work anytime, anywhere. The challenge for businesses has been how to make the most of these new opportunities.

Many companies have been quick to realise and adapt to the benefits of flexible working, which not only allows employees to work in huge numbers of locations around the world, but also improves productivity, job satisfaction, talent retention and business performance. Indeed, many employees now consider it to be the “new normal” when looking for the next step in their careers – as the demand for flexible working is increasing year on year and is showing no signs of slowing.

Knowledge-based industries such as consultancy and ICT businesses in particular have embraced their location agnostic structures to make remote working a possibility, as many business leaders have noticed that being flexible can play a critical role in broadening their access to the top talent pools, and employees confirm that it makes a difference to their enjoyment of their role.

The importance of being able to choose your work location was also cited in the study as one of the most important factor that prospective employees now look for: 70 per cent of respondents felt that having a choice of work environment is a key factor when evaluating new career opportunities.

Once considered the preserve of parents with young children, flexible working has seen its popularity boom among employees at all stages in their careers. In particular millennials, who make up the majority of the current workforce in Thailand that display an ever-present preference for flexibility, due to their accustomed nature of being connected all the time. 

The attractive prospects of cutting down on time spent commuting and ending the need to squeeze in errands into a lunch break empowers the worker to have more ability to decide how they distribute their working day.

It is also helping businesses to improve diversity within their organisations as the age of retirement in Thailand creeps up to accommodate the problem associated with being an ageing society.

Lars Wittig, vice president of sales in Asean, Taiwan and South Korea for IWG, said: “As one of the world’s pioneer in flexible working, we are an advocate of the ever-increasing mobile working trend, as employers and employees adapt to accommodate to new conventions.

“In the years ahead, agility will be more important than ever in making businesses succeed, and flexible workspaces will play a key part. As a result, we remain committed to offering a no-frill tailor made solution for companies to expand into new markets and locations efficiently, scale up or down at speed, as well as manage risk and reduce expenses.”

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