Flexible working is becoming increasingly important to today’s workforce. For some businesses, who haven’t offered dynamic working to their teams before, this may seem like a big change and one that is too large in today’s uncertain market. However, this change may be the difference between attracting top people and losing your best candidates to your competition. It’s important to recognise the key benefits, and know that even the smallest amount of flexibility can boost the productivity and wellbeing of your teams.

So, how are people’s requirements changing, and what are the key benefits of offering flexible working?

People’s requirements are changing 

Most organisations have been aware for some time that hiring and retaining the best talent requires more than a strong basic salary and a standard benefits package that operates on a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. People of different ages and at different stages in their life, or with different career aspirations are going to require and appreciate a variety of benefits or a choice around their working arrangements. 

It is becoming more and more common for candidates to hope and expect businesses to support their lifestyle choices. Previously, flexible working has been allowed to returning parents, or employees with young children. It has since become a vital offering to attract a range of talent that is looking for opportunities that fit with their lifestyle.

Not only is it becoming more requested by staff, but the technology that people have in their homes has changed, so that dynamic working is easier for most people. Offices can grant access to files and emails from home computers, as well as offering staff members personal work laptops to take home with them. The attitude has become one of, if they can do it easily, why shouldn’t they be allowed? This, combined with the ever-growing importance of employee wellbeing and its direct link to team productivity, makes dynamic and flexible working an easy win for businesses looking to boost morale within their teams. 

The impacts of the current climate of uncertainty

The UK is currently experiencing a prolonged period of uncertainty, which is unsurprisingly having a continued adverse effect on the talent market as it stands. ONS has stated that the UK labour market has over 9,000 fewer vacancies than the start of the year and is down YOY as well. This coincides with low unemployment of 3.9%.

As a result of this, companies should be making efforts to make their offering attractive to engage more potential candidates. Millennials are seeing flexible working as increasingly important to enable them to live their life outside of work and not be confined by the restraints that work can sometimes create. Millennial workers are the leaders of the future, and retaining the best for your business is crucial to ensuring the future of your organisation. 

The effect on your talent attraction strategy

When approaching the talent market, businesses should respect the benefits of altering their offering and making small changes to their culture that will retain the best people, and increase the wellbeing and productivity of their teams. 

Offering flexible working will not only attract people who would use it to incorporate their work life to their personal life, but it will also help to define your company culture. People want to be able to be themselves to work and be encouraged to have a life outside of the office. Therefore, stating that you offer flexible working on a job advert, or during the interview process, will give off a positive impression to candidates looking for a change in business culture. 

A lot of businesses are recognising the key benefits of offering flexible working, including employee engagement whilst they are working, a high trust environment, and increased productivity. If you decide to ignore this new trend, your best people will likely look to go elsewhere to a business that understands their personal needs, as well as their professional ones.

If you are interested in hiring top talent for your human resources team, please get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today for a confidential discussion. Alternatively, submit a job spec, and we will get in touch with you. If you are looking for a new opportunity, create a MyPage account to make the best use of matching technology.

Max Horton
Manager, Michael Page Human Resources